RABBIT, RABBIT

Do you say “rabbit rabbit” on the first of the month to ensure good luck? While the origin of this rodent repetition is mostly unknown it seems to be most prevalent in Britain and North America and is rumored to go back as far as the 13th century. The custom is possibly attributable to Celtic tribes for whom Hares were an important symbol and where we derived the superstition of carrying a lucky rabbit’s foot. I’ve found a few other derivations of the phrase as well including “white rabbit” or “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.” As for the phrase appearing in print, I’ve only been able to date it back to 1909 when it is referred in a book titled ‘Notes and Queries’ where I found the following:

“My two daughters are in the habit of saying ‘Rabbits!’ on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. Other children, I find, use the same formula.”

It is said “rabbit rabbit” was also a favorite first of the month phrase for former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was also known to carry a lucky rabbit’s foot. (Say that three times real fast.) Additionally, writer Simon Winchester said “white rabbit” for the beginning of 696 months before he forgot to say the phrase one day. Oh my!! Fortunately if you forget to say the phrase “white rabbit” in the morning you can correct this transgression at the end of the day by saying “black rabbit: right before you can go to sleep. In case you forgot to say “rabbit, rabbit” no worries, the proper antidote for that one is “tibbar, tibbar.”

SOURCE CITATIONS

Martin, Rachel, NPR. Say Rabbit, Rabbit’ For 31 Days Of Good Luck. December 1, 2013 https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=248041250

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