Everyone's Rabbitings

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There is a tradition in the military (at least in the USAF) involving white rabbit. It is a game, as well as a way to keep in touch with those with whom you were stationed. When a new month begins, it is a contest as to who can tell the other person 'white rabbit' first; must be live comm, no answering machines, letters, etc. Usually the wager would be a drink. However, like I said, it allowed you an 'excuse' to call people once a month and catch up.

- KevinS on 2/9/1997


White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit has my vote. It's obviously the more logical choice! :-) Why does it really matter anyway? Aren't different phrases lucky for different people?

- WilliamR on 4/7/1997


I thought you only said it when the smoke blow the other way from a camp fire - but it's definitely "White" rabbit.

- Jennie on 4/16/1997


umm. I was looking for pictures of whiterabbit :)

Yahoo! That's my handle :) and the name of my computer company…


- Felder on 7/26/1997


What are you thinking? White rabbit/white rabbit/white rabbit all the way!

- Tom on 7/29/1997


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- Gary on 8/1/1997


Have you heard the part about walking down the stairs backwards?

- Matthew on 8/2/1997


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- Charles on 8/8/1997


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- DavidF on 8/12/1997


Unfortunately this does not work. The NetFind on AOL simply isn’t able to pull it for me.

It might be the link.

I am hoping it is.

My High School Band is playing this song for the field show. I thought it would be great to hear it sung. Or something.

If you could help me.

It would be greatly appreciated.

thankyou.


- SarahL on 8/27/1997


I grew up in England, this was the tradition to say "White Rabbits" on the first day of the month, I dont know where it came from tho! Let me know if you find out! By the way, here in New England we celebrate White Rabbit day! (Well, in Pittsfield, MA we do!)

- Julie on 8/29/1997


My family has been using "Rabbit Rabbit" (note: only two rabbits) since long before I was born on the first of each month. We are of British heritage. Thanks. You've also proved the theory that "you can find anything on the web." - Archie, Alameda California

- Archie on 11/11/1997


A friend of mine taking a folklore course needed some folklore, so I wrote up an old family custom and out of curiosity did a Web search for the keyword and ran into your site.

Here's what I wrote for her...


"Rabbit Rabbit!"

It has been the custom in my family, for as long as I remember, for family members to greet one another on the first day of each month by saying "Rabbit Rabbit!" To say 'greet one another,' however, doesn't quite describe the custom. There is something like a contest as to who can say it first.

"Rabbit Rabbit!" can only be said once between each pair of relatives, and only on the first day of the month, and it goes only in one direction: If I say "Rabbit Rabbit!" to my brother, he cannot say it back to me; instead, he can only say something like "You got me (or 'You Rabbit Rabbited me'), but I'll get you next month." "Rabbit Rabbit!" does not have to be spoken, but can be written in a letter (lately in an email letter) or left on a phone answering machine.

We do not do this for a particular reason. The custom does not bring good luck or forefend bad; it has no ostensible purpose or utility whatever. It does of course fulfill the social function of keeping various family members in touch, but that's not why we do it. We always do it simply because we've always done it.

This custom is observed in my mother's family, the Seymours, but not in my father's, the Stones. I believe it originated with my mother's father, Frederick Seymour, who emigrated to Long Island, New York, from Maidenhead, England, before 1918, when my mother was born.

I have heard of a similar custom: saying either "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit," or "White rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit," as the first words you utter in any month, to bring on good luck*, but I have never heard of saying it to someone else. I did once read that a very similar phrase -- "rabbed rabbed" or some such -- was a dialect greeting in western England or perhaps in Cornish, but I can't remember the details. Seymour is supposed to have originally been spelled St. Maurice or St. Moritz, and the family to have come over from Normandy with William I and settled in Wales, but that may be an old wives' tale.


- Gerald on 11/12/1997


White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit

that's what it is.


- Hugh(Bud) on 12/23/1997


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- Cynthia on 12/26/1997


Here on Okinawa, we have friends that believe that if you say White Rabbit to someone else on the first of the month, you steal all their luck. They believe it originated in New Zealand. We were hoping your web site would go further into the origin.

- John-Deb on 1/25/1998


I have actually learned a slightly different practice. The tradition that I learned is that you must be the first to say Happy White Rabbit's Day to someone (before they say it to you) in order to have good luck for the month.

I have heard that these traditions (I know also of the Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit version) came from Northern Europe.


- JulieW on 3/16/1998


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- Nigel on 4/30/1998


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- PatA on 5/4/1998


We say "white rabbit" to each other on the first day of the month as a verbal game of tag. You have to say it to someone before they say it to you. We have been doing this for 19 years. I was looking for a picture of a white rabbit for my computer wall paper when I stumbled onto your site.

- Karen on 6/1/1998


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- Barbara on 6/30/1998


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- BigBadDesign on 7/1/1998


Actually, in our circles it is merely "White Rabbit". The first time two people see each other in a month, the first one to say "white rabbit" to the other wins, gets the good luck, or has to buy the other a drink depending on your interpretation. And, if you won't see the person during the month, it can be done over the telephone. One of our friends answers her phone, "White rabbit, this is Jennifer..." in order not to get "white-rabbitted."

My sister-in-law chants "bunny, bunny, bunny" to my brother on the first of the month.

Where did this silliness start?! How did you learn of it? Gotta love it!


- Joel on 7/23/1998


Though the way I heard it, you have to say "Rabbit, Rabbit" as the LAST thing you say in a month, then make a silent wish, then say "Rabbit, Rabbit" as the FIRST thing you say in the new month for it to work.

Much more complex.


- Wendy on 9/1/1998


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- Peter on 9/9/1998


White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit

because of the song (by jefferson airplane)


- WilliamP on 9/30/1998


Hi, I vote for Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. This is what I was brought up to say as my first words of the new month.

- Sue on 1/18/1999


Since I had time to kill at the library the other day, I followed up a tip from Tim and found a book by Jake Gardner (presumably a relative of Martin) called "Modern Man: Churl, Villain, Or Jester?" And I just had time to copy the following before I had to go catch the Nexus bus home. Sorry this is so long: Hope it all gets through.

In Europe, through the Middle Ages until about Shakespeare's time, the economies of most countries, including especially those where the inhabitants were the ancestors of the English-speaking peoples, were continuing to emerge from the hunter-gatherer traditions that had marked the end of the Stone Age into the modern versions of these traditions that we see today. As hunters, men needed meat, as well as animal furs to protect them from the harsh winters of Northern Europe. The rabbit was sometimes useful for both purposes, but because the rabbit was viewed as a predator on the very fields that man himself was learning how to cultivate, the elimination of rabbits became a desirable purpose for man the farmer/hunter. In this case, man the hunter was generally man the trapper, and since rabbits were not his only prey, he soon noticed that the taking of a rabbit in a trap was usually a precursor to the taking of other small animals, such as foxes and badgers, that might use the same game trail. Cf. Shakespeare:
‘Tis not but a mere rabbit,
For where runs the rabbit,
There 'tis the habit Of running the fox.
-- All's Well That Ends Well, IV, iii, l.17-21.

Therefore, the rabbit was viewed as a sign of good luck to come; and the rabbit's foot, the part of the animal that was caught in the trap, came to seem especially lucky.

Many of these people were still influenced by fairly simple religions, like that of the Druids in Great Britain. For the priests or medicine men of these faiths, the monthly cycle of the moon usually assumed great importance; so any farmers or hunters who wanted to try to assure good luck in the coming cycle would repeat talismanic oaths in the way taught to them by their religious leaders. Therefore, on the first of the month, anyone wishing to pray to his or her primitive gods for good luck during the month ahead might repeat a simple charm, such as "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit"; or "lucky rabbit, lucky rabbit;" or--because of the association of the color white with the sun and with virtue--"white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit." An interesting variant, which in our own time has given a title to novel by John Updike, came from people who for their own reasons could understand the plight of the trapper's prey: "Run, rabbit, run."

Even today, people cling to these superstitions; and an elder of the Fudd family, of the Beverly Hills west of Lincolnshire, who claims to be himself a warlock and one of the last surviving Druids, admits that it matters little which incantation one uses, since anything that anyone feels brings good luck is clearly a worthwhile habit so long as the luck continues.

This aging gentleman, known to his descendants as Grandfather Elmer, takes note that in his lifetime; the incantation "White rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit" has been abbreviated to, "Wabbit, wabbit, wabbit."


- Ted on 1/22/1999


It's rabbit, rabbit, rabbit--but who knows why?!

Has anyone come up with the actual origin of "Rabbit-Rabbit-Rabbit," yet?? I've wondered about it since I was a kid. Is it known more frequently on the East coast of the US? I haven't spoken to anyone on the West coast that is familiar with it. - Thanks


- WindyC on 2/19/1999


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- Christopher on 3/3/1999


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- Tina on 5/2/1999


My husband’s family always said "White Rabbit", just once, on the first of each month. And they said it AT somebody, like tagging them out. What I’m looking for is the history of the phrase - can you be of any help?

- CT on 7/4/1999


White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit -

I vote for this one, and only for months with the letter 'r' in them (at least, that's how I was brought up with it).


- Lee on 7/31/1999


Since the black rabbit of Inlé in Watership Down is the rabbit of Death, the white rabbit must be the rabbit of good luck.

Since black cat is considered bad luck in the States and the white cat bad luck in the UK, and the black cat is considered good luck by Southern US blacks, thus "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" is as neutral as a grey cat, the ambassador of free will, who shapes his own destiny such as the grey cat and brown rabbit who live with me. But what is the moral of this story?

Dear Nicholas, But then why do you vote for White Rabbit, not Rabbit??

Dear JB,

Thank you for the reply. I voted for white rabbit as I believe a black cat brings good luck: it always has in the past.

I did not vote for "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" as I don't think it will bring luck, good or bad, but is like the rabbits in Watership Down, making their own destinies through free will (choices and decisions). I admire the rabbits of WD but I don't think they or any rabbit brings good luck.

However, the more I think about it, "wr wr wr" may bring good luck or not, but "r r r" said as a chant is a prayer to the whole "race" or rabbits, and as a prayer answered by rabbit spirits would be more powerful than "wr wr wr" for good luck.

What I mean here is that a chant to the rabbit spirits would be more powerful for fulfilling the intention of the chant, no matter what it is, IF the rabbit spirits find your intention pleasing to THEM.

Hmmm. Could I change my vote? I just talked myself out of "wr wr wr." Now I think that if one chants "r r r" to the rabbit spirits, AND IF they find your supplication for good luck or whatever intention pleasing, they would grant it more than just an incantation to the white rabbit spirits.

Please change my vote to "rabbit rabbit rabbit."

Thanks for making me re-think my position. I still say our decisions and choices have more of an effect on our lives, but I wasn't thinking the question through theologically/ metaphysically/ spiritually based on my own experience and study.

Best regards from Nick, Anastasia the Russian Blue cat and Hayzeal the Flemish Giant buck rabbit here in Michigan USA


- Nicholas on 8/28/1999


Is anyone out there? Where did this originate? I'm from Ohio and it seems to stem from that part of the country. Any ideas?

Cheers!


- Michelle on 11/1/1999


Definitely white rabbit ....just any old plain rabbit wouldn't do. I mean how often do you actually see a white rabbit. I think it’s more rare and definitely helps you to know to follow it. You can't just have people running around following any rabbit they stumble upon there must be some significance.

- Tkdon on 11/24/1999


hiya! i know it's been for*ever* since i last posted... i'm not lurking, i just haven't had much time to actually say something. *g* but here i am, just the same.

firstly, everybody have a happy new year! remember to say "rabbitrabbitrabbit" first thing in the morning on January 1st. not only is it rabbit day [1], but it's the first rabbit day of a brand new bunch of ways to record time. : D

secondly, I'll be at the NYD show in buffalo tomorrow... i finally got pictures up on FHDC, so if anybody ever for any reason wants to talk to me.... look for me! I'll more than likely be with none other than the pimp, Mr. Andy World himself, so... look for the guy with long hair who can out-pimp Murray. :) Andy should have at least three girls with him, so, look for us all. we don't bite!

thirdly... i dunno. everybody be safe and happy.

~Maggie "i think my whore is dead" [2] - Chris Kattan, SNL sketch

1: saying rabbit^3 on the first of the month gives you good luck for the remainder of that month, as told to me by Mrs. Smith, a fantabulous English teacher

2: i'm sorry for all the pimp/whore talk... i'm really not like this.... it just happened to be a running theme tonight... i apologize


- Tim on 12/31/1999


(No Comment)

- Lloyd on 1/1/2000


Because I think that, for the symbolic connotation of the colour white, it is more innocent to say

white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit


- Carmen on 1/31/2000


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit -

This is what I always heard growing up - and still repeat to this day!

I grew up in New England. Winning 3 to 1, eh? I wonder if that has anything to do with The Matrix?

Er, Jefferson Airplane? (Actually, the last email was a weak attempt at humour - as was that last statement. Email tends to mangle a dry sense of humour).

Hhhmmm...well, "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" was something told to me as a youngster. He didn't give any real background as to WHY just that it was a good way to start the month and that it brought luck. I actually still try to do it every month - mainly because it brings back happy childhood memories...

And you? What made you start collecting rabbits?


- Richard on 2/1/2000


I was told as a young child when I was living in Spain to repeat White Rabbit 3x when I awoke on the first day of the month. I always wondered why and never heard anything about it again til your site!

- Rostall on 3/29/2000


i like alice and wonderland a lot, and so by saying white rabbit, it adds more meaning to the phrase

- MadHatter on 4/11/2000


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit - EXCEPT... I was always taught to say "Rabbit, Rabbit", and exclude the third "Rabbit"

Thank you.

Funny thing... I had been doing this for years when I was a kid growing up in Northern California, "Rabbit Rabbit" being the first thing you said on the first of the month, and then you'd have good luck. But I don't remember where I picked it up from (this being 30 years ago or so). Then a few years back, I met a guy at work who would "White Rabbit" us (only one "White Rabbit"). He has since left the company, but a couple of us have carried on the tradition, calling or faxing or emailing the first rabbit of the month. I must tell you, though, he has recently written some "rules", including such things as time zones and faxing or emailing the night before so the other person will get it first (that's a no-no). Well, good luck on your research, and take care!


- Jan on 5/23/2000


love this topic please send me any add infor you have I think I am focussing too much on this what else is new
aloha from hawaii


- AlohaMike on 7/6/2000


Aloha, Actually introduced to the concept in Athens Greece from a woman from St Louis in 1972. Tho I to hail from Western Mass. Did you know of the clothing line names Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit- their advertising is somethig i will get to you.

But there is a company here that makes woman apparel called Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit boy it freaked alot of people out who thought i was from planet z when i told of my rabbit rabit rabit

Did you catch Matthew broadrick o Tonight show? he spoke of his wife's little thing she does every month that he can't interrupt.......

have only missed rabbit twice in twnety years both months were disasters

will share more later


- AlohaMike on 7/11/2000


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- Hazel on 8/1/2000


I have a co-worker who used to have a challenge going with a previous Chairman as to who could say "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit" first to the other person on the morning of the first day of the month. They not only said this, but once the Chairman left three (3) white rabbits on her desk the very first thing in the morning.

My co-worker's daughter now works temporarily in our office and they did this just last Tuesday, but no one else in our office knew what they were doing until they explained it to us. Now we all are going to start this tradition, not only in the office but amongst our families as well. It's a nice tradition to start, especially with young children...they will get such a kick out of this and they will remember it for all their lives.


- Janet on 8/2/2000


Aloha romda islands,

An integral part of the r3 involved a literall hop out of bed while saying r3. am pm still same but as i said i was intro in athens by someone from st louis in 72.

Other than that...what about a small move from content riven r3 into e space?


- AlohaMike on 8/13/2000


Hi JB!

I was just wondering if anyone else had any interesting ideas for the "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit" shtick. I don't think we could top the live rabbits, but it would be fun to try! E-mails are too common, but little gift ideas would be nice. Please let me know what you are able to come up with.

Thanks for your time!


- Janet on 8/14/2000


So aloha I guess no bed huh? I was concocting a bed episode a he new W hotel that features a king size bed in the bar. Perfect venue i thought for an R3 at midnight...biker bar....

still may pass


- AlohaMike on 8/17/2000


why does anyone care?

- Heiko on 9/2/2000


I have been trying to remember to do this for about 15 years, but think I have actually remembered about five (including this morning). Someone once told me that you are supposed to say Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit to another person and they are supposed to respond Bunny Bunny Bunny. However, I just adhere to the Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit theory. My friends all think I'm nuts because very few people have heard about this superstition. Was glad to see there is a website about it.

- Tiffany on 10/1/2000


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- StephenR on 11/2/2000


Hi!

RABBIT, RABBIT, RABBIT! GOTCHA FIRST!!!!

Remember, this is how it all started?!


- Janet on 12/1/2000


I was a sophomore in high school when I first heard of this "good luck" chant (that was about 15 years ago!). A classmate brought the topic up in an English literature class. We were talking about the origin of old wives' tales or something. I can't remember the details of her story, but I remember that in order for the good luck to happen, "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" must be the first words out of your mouth on the 1st day of the month. I've been doing it ever since ... that is when I can remember to do it!

- Robin on 12/1/2000


Our family has said "Rabbit Rabbit" on the first day of the month since 1958. There was a girl who worked in our office at that time who practiced the tradition since the the early forties. She told us that it came from "Alice in Wonderland". One time I was reading a "Mary Higgins Clark" novel and the main character used the phrase for good luck, but I cannot remember which novel. (from Somers CT)

- PatB on 12/2/2000


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit -

Only it is only two times --- "Rabbit, Rabbit"


- DavidH on 12/2/2000


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit -

Actually I vote for Rabbit Rabbit (never heard of the triplets!)

How many votes per month do you get?


- Jack on 12/5/2000


As to: where did I hear of Rabbit Rabbit [Rabbit]? It's not exactly one of those: "Where were you when the space shuttle.........." questions but I think that I heard it from an old girlfriend about 20 yrs ago, and it has been a great source of fun ever since. I sent a company wide email out last Thursday instructing everyone to "don't say a word.... until you say rabbit rabbit". I included your link. I got an enthusiastic response from the top dog proclaiming me to be "da man" as he has forever been preaching the practice to others but always got blank stares and never had anything to back up / support his enthusiasm. My thanks to you for the career enhancing e-artifact!

As you represent the best authority that I could find on the Rabbit x __ thing, I thought that you should know: I work for AskJeeves. We have a search engine product (DirectHit) that tracks the choices that internet users make in response to the results that they get to specific search queries. The query rabbit rabbit yielded your site as the third most popular result (http://www.directhit.com/fcgi-bin/DirectHitWeb.fcg?qry=rabbit+rabbit&alias=websrch). This is actually really good as it shows that a significant amount of people are taking the time to look this up. Also know that the first two sites had nothing to do with the Rabbit Rabbit "thing".

Thanks again and shouldn't we both get back to our real jobs? :)


- Jack on 12/5/2000


Wow Pat, Thanks for the vote ... Interesting, Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit is fewer but catching up. A fair number of Rabbit Rabbit as well. Amazing how far flung this silliness has spread over the globe! Yours is the oldest tale, especially the part of the early 40's! I don't think there is actually anything in Alice about saying this... Totally cool. Have you actually stuck with this since 58? Or just once or twice a year, like most of us? JB

Hey good to hear from you. Yes, we do say it every month! It took us a few months "to get going". Gloria was the girl who worked with us and she had a way of making sure everyone in the office responded with the phrase the first of every month. We have four sons who also have "brought the phrase to work". I send out a "Rabbit Rabbit" to many friends who answer back likewise. It does make people smile! BTW two sons work in Springfield MA


- PatB on 12/5/2000


It is a small world! I always use "Ask Jeeves" when I do the NY Times crossword puzzle every Sunday (my husband and I each have our own copies) I usually finish first, thanks to Jeeves! I also had to smile when he mentioned the astronauts because I suddenly remember one of the astronauts using "Rabbit Rabbit" on a shuttle that took off on the first of the month.....ummm I will have to ask Jeeves which shuttle that was. Thanks for keeping in touch.

- PatB on 12/5/2000


Well, it was Jack's e-mail that brought me to your website in the first place - again, I thought I was one of the few who did this until I saw it!

Funny!


- Robin on 12/6/2000


Time has a way of legitimating things. A reference from the 40's does imply that this thing has legs!

- Jack on 12/6/2000


It's pretty neat to see people from all over doing this! :)

- Janet on 12/6/2000


Not sure this one belongs here at all but just thought I might ask this very erudite clan of wordsmiths for help on it. For as long as I can remember on the 1st day of every month, almost the first thing you must do and certainly the first thing you say, we say the expression, "White rabbits, white rabbits," for good luck. There seems to be some significance in saying it twice and you most not speaking or say anything else on the morn of the 1st day of the month -- just that silly expression. Anyone have any ideas. I know my family and our Irish cousins have it in common. Thanks Patrick

Roger Hill wrote:
I used to know it as a single 'white rabbit' to be said first thing on the first day of the month, before any other word was spoken.

On checking with other sources I hear the variant was that 'rabbit' said aloud three times did the trick, no 'white' preceding.

This rabbitry brought a month of (good) luck.


Sounds like transliterated Hebrew to me, that is, literally an idiom with the meaning: (have a) great month.

Hebrew het-dalet-shin KHoDeSH = month Anciently, the het-W parallel and a dental shin would make this word sound like WDT --> white.

Hebrew resh-bet-taf-yod RaBaTi = great, mighty. RaBaT = much, abundantly, exceedingly. Resh-bet-heh RaVaH (anciently ? RaBaTh) = multiply, increase, to become many, become great.

Perhaps this is why rabbits are associated with rapid reproduction. Or viewed the other way round, why these rapidly multiplying critters are called rabbits.

It is a Jewish custom to say SHaVoo3a ToV = (have a) good week at the beginning of each week (on Saturday night). And there is an elaborate blessing on the sabbath before each new moon (= a new Hebrew month) during which the congregation prays for a good, abundant month.

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit. What I tell you three times is true, as explained by Lewis Carroll in "The Hunting of the Snark". Needless to say, the Rev. Charles Ludwig Dodgson was fluent in Hebrew.

At work, one of my colleagues gave me the nickname "White Rabbit", probably because she referred to our boss as the "Red Queen". - izzy "white rabbit"


- Izzy on 12/7/2000


As far as I remember, I first heard about this sweet superstition at sleep-away summer camp in Maine about 35 years ago. It was supposed to bring luck, not steal luck from others (I don't like that concept at all.....) - kind of like the rabbit's foot, I suppose.

As I heard it, you were supposed to say "rabbit" (no prescribed number of rabbits) as the very first thing you uttered on the first day of the month. I was always unsure as to whether that meant that if I was up at midnight on the last day of the month, I should attempt to say 'rabbit' as soon after midnight as I could, or if the luck held off until I woke in the morning.....

I, of course, tried to magnify the luck by saying 'rabbit' multiple times (when I remembered to do it at all) - perhaps one for each week of the month, or even day of the month. Certainly at least one for each month on the first of the year. I still do it occasionally - when I remember. But I still don't know whether I should be doing it at midnight, too (or instead) -


- Dayle on 12/7/2000


Meanies would telephone someone they suspected still abed, and upon such sleepy a one's 'hello', demand: 'Hello, old boy, did you get your rabbits in?', knowing full well their sabotage.

- Roger on 12/7/2000


Subject: Re: White Rabbit = (have a) great month

Izzy must be Irish; "Cooney" is a rabbit in Irish--"Cohen".

The Kelts did not use vowels either. Irish Ogam script is very similar to Semitic spelling. I have mentioned before that there are caves in the Atlas Mountains with Ogam writing on the walls. Scholars in that area can read the writing.

For example a patronymic would be written B-N in Semitic while in Keltic Ogam it would be written as M-Q. In "P" Keltic it would be M-B.

A solar disk in Keltic would be H-W-L or G-L-N. In the Atlas Mountains it would be T-R-S. The "W" has a sound value of "L" in Keltic. The patronymic would be the same as in Semitic. There is a way to transliterate from Keltic to Punic. I won't go into that.

Ogam writing has been found in Mass., Conn., Vermont, and in Maine---long before the Vikings found "Vineland".

Hey! There used to be a Cohen that was the Mayor of Dublin--I think for 14 years if I remember right.


- Izzy on 12/13/2000


Wow, izzy.

Thank you for the vote. White Rabbit was winning until recently, when I got a whole stream of rabbits! When did you hear of this? What is your mythology? Is it carnivorous (stealing others' luck) or gentle (getting better luck)?

John -

The [white] rabbit "blessing" was recently discussed on the ABOUT-WORDS-L list. I'll send you the emails that I saved from this thread.

I suspect "white rabbit" is a classical idiom (perhaps borrowed from Aramaic) that meant "month abundant" non-idiomatically in the source language.


- Izzy on 12/13/2000


No wonder we weren't having any good luck in the office. Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit was probably not the very first thing said once we arrived at the office the morning of the first of the month. We usually said "Good Morning" and then the rabbit business. I will certainly have to remember to say nothing before the rabbit! :)

- Janet on 12/14/2000


Please help me find other materials on this "Rabbit" habit. My family has always competed to be the first to say "Rabbit" each month, but we don't know why. Are there references?

- Brooks on 12/31/2000


Well, we knew that the first to say a single "rabbit" was to get good luck for the rest of the month. We added that saying "rabbit" on the first day of the first month of the year was better still. It never had to be the first thing out of our mouths -- it was the first family member to say it to someone else.

We got it from our father (age 78), who is from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, but now lives in Hilton Head, South Carolina. In our family it began long before we could remember, and we're baby boomers. All of us children do it monthly: I'm in Pennsylvania (where I've spread it to my elementary school students); the rest are in California, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.


- Brooks on 1/1/2001


Happy New Year to you! I forgot to say it this year -- again. Hope I remember next year. Nick in St Clair Shores, MI

El-ahrairah, your people cannot rule the world, for I will not have it so. All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people will never be destroyed. -The Blessing of El-ahrairah by Lord Frith, from "Watership Down" by Richard Adams


- Nicholas on 1/1/2001


Hi Dayle,

Of all the variations I have encountered, multiplying the luck is a new one to me! The midnight problem is indeed a "small print" problem that can arise. There is also an Air Force variant involving rules wherein the people are in far different time zones. And the first of the year does not often arise in the mythology. Just the first of the month. Why, I have no idea! The Air Force folks had rules about answering machines and other electronic transmissions wherein the bodies were not actually speaking. Phone was OK, Answ machs not OK, email ... split.

JB

---------

Tee, Hee! JB love it!

Very cute!

I managed to say it just after midnight (how could I bypass saying it on the first day of the new Millennium, after all), as well as in the morning. I did alert my boyfriend that I would be saying it after the countdown ended, instead of finishing the toast we started, so as not to surprise him too much. I think I got in at least twelve, one for each month.

Happy New Year, New Millennium, etc.


- Dayle on 1/2/2001


Wait a minute here - isn't there something in the rule book that says email doesn't count?? :-) You'll never believe this - at about two minutes after midnight on January 1, as we were out in the street yelling Happy New Year, my 9-year old screams "White Rabbit, White Rabbit!!"


Yo Jan,

Good work, kid! But I thought you were a "rabbit, rabbit" (twice) fan! Where did he get the white?? ... And as for email, I think it depends on whose rule book. What else doesn't count?


- Jan on 1/2/2001


Well, personally, I am a believer in the "email counts" version, but I will attach below the rules set forth by my long-time "White Rabbit" pal. I suppose the rules can be modified to include email, for those participants that want it to - but should be similar to #2 below. Regarding "Rabbit vs White", I guess I became confused over the years whether it was "Rabbit Rabbit" as I grew up with, or "White Rabbit" as he always touted... thus, my children have become confused as well... Happy New Year JB!


Here are the basic rules for White Rabbit. Please feel free to offer clarification or add additional rules for discussion.

1) Full credit will only be awarded for live contact. This means either meeting in person or speaking to the other person on the phone.

2) Contact will be determined based upon the time where the individual is residing when contact is made. In other words, if I'm in Wisconsin and I'm calling you in California, I can only get points if it is 12:00 a.m. or later in California.

3) Contact must occur between one second past midnight on the first day of the month and midnight of the 11:59.59 on the first.

4) Partial credit may be awarded for unusual and creative contact. This could include items such as flowers, balloons, sky-writing, dancing messengers or other similar efforts. The receipt of the special message must occur prior to 11:59.59. Contestants are bound by honor to report receipt accurately.

5) Faxes, e-mails and letters will not be considered valid contact.

6) January 1 of each year will count for double credit.

7) Contestants must be of age to enable them to initiate contact in future months. In other words, it's no fair to white rabbit a new born.

8) The winner each month is entitled to gloat during the remainder of the month.

9) It is not legal to disguise your voice in order to make other contestants believe that they have reached a party other than yourself.

10) In the event of any question over the interpretation of these rules, final determination shall be made by a mutually agreed upon, neutral arbitrator.


- Jan on 1/3/2001


OK OK

Actually I meant that: I had thought that the great challenge was to remember to say Rabbit Rabbit AFTER waking up on the first day of the month. This is the real bugger for me. Each month presents a different reason for failure. This month's distraction was the cat who was tearing up the comforter on the bed!

Can I take it from the unofficial Rabbit Master that the only standard is to say it as the first words of the month without the requirement of a night's sleep?


- Jack on 1/3/2001


Oh...you got me!!!!! BUT you cheated by sending it on Sunday, which was the 31st...if only you had waited until AFTER midnight!!!!!! Hee, hee!

- Janet on 1/3/2001


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit …

Oh...you got me!!!!! BUT you cheated by sending it on Sunday, which was the 31st...if only you had waited until AFTER midnight!!!!!! Hee, hee! JB wrote: Tee, Hee! JB Gotta love it! P.S. Nyeh, nyeh!!!!

Did not! Look at the headers. I created the email on Sunday, but didn't send it until 00:01 on Monday. Nyeh, nyeh! JB

Are you on the East Coast? Because that would explain why it was received by me before midnight even if you sent it after midnight your time!? :)


- Janet on 1/3/2001


Actually, I'm looking for anything that describes the First of month - Rabbit tradition. Is there anything in print? Where did this originate? When? Very few friends (none?) that I have spoken to have ever heard of this, although a variant has been in active use in my family for at least 80 years.

I like the Lewis Carroll pictures and text, but I don't quite see the connection. Did Carroll or one of his characters say Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit on the first of a month? - Thanks.


- Dick on 1/3/2001


Too cool, I remember hitting your web page a while back. I do want to thank you for the email because it reminded me to "get" my family. We do the White Rabbit thing every month. There are alot of J.B.s in our family and I thought it was my brother-in-law or sister-in-law Your in the pursuit of the fair hare, Karen

- Karen on 1/3/2001


Out of the mists of
legend and magic
of the british isles
comes a harbinger
of good luck, a
little ritual of repeating the name
for the little furry
animal three times
before any other word
is spoken, on the
first day of every
month.
Some of the best
people are believes.
Join them and us in
exclaiming
rabbit rabbit rabbit remember it's good luck

aloha


- AlohaMike on 1/4/2001


I think e-mails count (we can ignore rule# 5), but remember the time difference! I'm in Wisconsin, so "ha, ha"! It wasn't after midnight here! You'll have to remember that for next month. I have always known it to be "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit", but I don't think it really matters. I think it is precious that a 9-year old is so attached to this tradition already! I have a 17-year old son, 15-year old daughter, and 13-year old son who think I'm crazy...but my 8-year old son thinks it's fun.

Well, better get back to work! Take Care!


- Janet on 1/4/2001


So you have never heard the condition that the term "xxxxx Rabbit" (where xxx is either: "White" or "Rabbit") must be the first words out of your mouth for the month AND / OR that they must have been preceded by sleep?

How about passing that one by the International Committee?


- Jack on 1/4/2001


Actually I meant that: I had thought that the great challenge was to remember to say Rabbit Rabbit AFTER waking up on the first day of the month. This is the real bugger for me. Each month presents a different reason for failure. This month's distraction was the cat who was tearing up the comforter on the bed!

Can I take it from the unofficial Rabbit Master that the only standard is to say it as the first words of the month without the requirement of a night's sleep?

- - - - - -

You raise central questions, Jan. These are being debated internationally at this very moment. For example, Jack had this problem... I will pass your "rules" around and see what falls out ... JB

- - - - - -

You know, Jack has a point. When I was younger, it was much simpler - you had to remember to say it as the first words out of your mouth on the first day of the month. No contest with others. Just yourself. And it meant good luck. In later years, I ran into a fellow Rabbiteer, although he was a White Rabbit fan. It was then that it became a contest.

Hmmm... are you updating your website with all these new ideas?


- Jan on 1/4/2001


I like White Rabbit because if you try to say it fast three or more times you sound like a blubbering idiot.

- Maryann on 1/6/2001


I started it off by going down a ski slope backwards. I hope you had a fun holiday as well. - rich

- - - - -

Eek, Rich! At midnight? Or when you first awoke? Eek! Congratulations on your tenacity. JB

- - - - -

No, in the morning - six hours ahead of EST.

Thank you.


- Richard on 1/8/2001


I didn't know that anyone else knew about it. My girlfriend and I have a grey lop-eared house-rabbit. One day she called me up and told me to start saying "Rabbit Rabbit" (i.e. say rabbit twice) on the 1st day of each month. She said I shouldn't forget to do it. I'm not sure if she associated it with luck in particular or not. I assumed she made it up, and that it was just something that we did. This was about 3 years ago. I don't know where she came up with it. I was searching for the keyword "White Rabbit" when I found your site, this due to a recent interest in "Alice in Wonderland".

- Kenneth on 1/8/2001


Seems like the only thing we all agree on is that the word: "rabbit" must be said on the first day of the month. After that comes the magic and culture of regionality.

I can say this: your site and communications prompted me to get off of my but and call the person who first introduced me to Rabbit Rabbit. Sure was good to talk to my old girlfriend....although my wife didn't appreciate it!

Good luck


- Jack on 1/8/2001


The Rabbit Underground lives!

- Jack on 1/17/2001


Thanks JB - I've been having fun with all these notes you've been sending me. Another "rabbit rabbit" fan... I wonder where she did come up with it - I bet Kenneth will question her now!

- Jan on 1/17/2001


Ok, since many of us agree, let's ignore rule #5 - the only problem is, how do we know where we all are so we can surprise each other at the beginning of the month? I know where I am, the young mother is in Wisconsin, and I believe you are in MA, right? There was Aloha Mike in Hawaii, too. Jeez this can get quite confusing, trying to time it right.....

- Jan on 1/17/2001


(No Comment)

- Dolle on 1/23/2001


(No Comment)

- Drasko on 1/30/2001


There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did. Now that I have your attention, its Rabbit Rabbit time again.

- PatB on 2/1/2001


I have no idea of the truth, but a friend of mine from England says "White rabbit, white rabbit."

Do you know the origin? She doesn't.

Friend is a native of England, now living in the U.S. The first of March is coming so, in advance, "White Rabbit, White Rabbit!"


- Oscar on 2/4/2001


Hi John (oops I mean JB),

I am in the heart of Silicon Valley, CA. The evening of 1/31 I was in a quandry because I wanted to send you a "rabbit rabbit" at 9:01 pm my time but didn't have your email address at home. That's ok, I managed to totally forget the next morning anyway, and now I've had bad luck all month. For instance, we drove to the snow last Friday afternoon (a 4-hr drive) and it had been sunny and warm all day Friday, skiing was great, and we get up Saturday morning to a white-out. My husband and my boys went snowboarding anyway, though. I decided to cross country, and could hardly see two feet in front of me! Of course Sunday morning when it was time to go home, the sun was out shining again. See? I have to remember the "rabbit rabbit"


- Jan on 2/26/2001


Actually I vote for "Bunny Bunny" (only twice) said last on the last day of the (month, year, century, whatever) and "Rabbit Rabbit" said the first thing the first day. That was the superstition I learned in the early seventies living in a farmhouse in Iowa with a bunch of other freaks

- Michael on 3/1/2001


Wow Tommy … How bad can you get? Indeed! And where did you run across the cross between white and bad rabbits? JB

- - - - -

Bad indeed…

I search the web now and then for any references to Bad Rabbit. It's surprising what emerges- Bad Rabbit Records, Bad Rabbit Design Studio- to name a few.. A rather unusual one is http://www.badrabbit.net/

It must be something in the name…

This searching has resulted in a couple of interesting projects. George Rosenberg from Tucson has (or had) a band called 'Fierce Bad Rabbit' and we collaborated on a track. Also a guy called Jon Gillot wrote a parody of a song (Bad Habit) by The Offspring which he called 'Bad Rabbit'.
(See: http://www.amiright.com/parody/90s/theoffspring4.shtml)
We'll put some music to this and record it in a couple of weeks.

I'm glad you appreciate the strange and lurid tale of Bad Rabbit. If you can bear it, I have another band 'The Cold Water Gang'. Their tale is equally unsettling. The site is at: http://www.andymar.ukgateway.net/cwg/index.html

Even worse. we have our own mag-'Ethel Magazine' at: http://www.andymar.ukgateway.net/badrab/page10.html

All contributions gratefully received...

Best wishes Tommy, England, UK


- Tommy on 3/12/2001


Watch out JB. April Fools Day is just around the corner! I vote for no "Bunny Bunny " just "Rabbit Rabbit" Have a good one!

- PatB on 3/18/2001


Boy o Boy (Rabbit or Rabbit / Bunny o Bunny / on and on!)

This thing gets more and more complicated every time. Is there no version control! Who is in charge of this?

JB: My vote is that JB is the official: VP of all Month End / Rabbit Related Superstition (get that on your business card!). We need to get our arms around this and no one has a better handle on it than he. How about some standards JB?


- Jack on 3/19/2001


My family and friends play a game on the first day of the month (only a 24 hr period) which goes like this:

If person A says "White Rabbit!" to person B, then person A takes person B's luck for that month. It can be communicated in various ways (i.e., in person, via phone or phone message*, fax*, by picture or artifact.

*counts only if received on the 1st of the month). I have heard that there is an English tradition of saying "Rabbit, Rabbit" as the first words out of one's mouth on the 1st of the month. Back in the early 80's the Student Paper @ University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (Mizzou) published an article on the "White Rabbit" game that I support and play. Do you have any specific data on rules or traditions that you can fax me? I love to hear from you. - Take Care.


- Rick on 3/23/2001


Aha!! So my old friend from work wasn't the only one who made it into a game! We didn't take the other person luck, though; we just "got them and were able to feel smug about it". Unfortunately, I've lost touch with him over the past year - he changed companies again and I haven't heard from him since. I've been wanting to forward all this info to him - I know he'd be very interested. Have a great day!

- Jan on 3/26/2001


You ever heard of the book Bunny Bunny, by Alan Zweibel? It's a memoir of his relationship with Gilda Radner. In an interview about the book, he says the following:

I couldn't figure out what to call it and I re-read the book and BUNNY BUNNY was a childhood sort of superstition that she had. I have since found out that many people have this, but what she used to do is the first day of every new month, like August 1st, September 1st, her superstition was that if she said the words BUNNY BUNNY as the first words out of her mouth on that day of each month, it would bring good luck and ward off all sorts of whatever evil or whatever harm could happen to you. It was a childhood superstition and one that she carried into adulthood and kept on doing even when I knew her. That scene somewhat reoccurs in the book and it seemed appropriate.


- Michael on 3/29/2001


I asked my Dad about his recollections of this. He's 86. He says when he and his parents and brother and sister were visiting an uncle in Denver in 1922, the uncle told them about Rabbit on the first of the month. The uncle had been in England during WW I and Dad assumes that's where he came upon it.

I don't know what the uncle told them, exactly, of course. It could have been "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit." But in my Dad's family, and now in mine and my sisters and our children's families (multiplies like rabbits!) it's simply a "gotcha" contest to see who can remember to say "Rabbit" first on the first of each month. With some vague, unspecified good luck notion in the background. If the phone rings on New Years morning, just answer with "RABBIT!" and then try to explain afterward if it wasn't a family member.

Of course, nowadays with E-mail, the people in earlier time zones have an unfair advantage. My sister in Africa got the rest of us frequently - when she remembered! But of course, remembering is the key…

About six years ago I saw a new book in a bookstore about rabbit lore and legends, and there were a number of references to first-of-the-month customs. I should have bought it! Now I can't find the book on Amazon or elsewhere. It would probably help if I could remember the author or title. I thought it was "The Rabbit Book" but apparently not.- Best regards


- Dick on 4/9/2001


I've also heard that you need to make this statement while you leap out of bed in the morning and while in the air.

- Chris on 5/5/2001


Wow - even Gilda did it - that's pretty cool. Thanks for sharing JB.

- Jan on 5/9/2001


I have been doing this for 25 years - saying white rabbit to my SO on the first of the month.

I was a student at Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio, in the late 70's. Happened to see it in a newspaper type magazine I found on a windowsill in the agriculture building. Go figure! Been doing it ever since. It actually is a game with my husband and I to see who can get to the other person first and say it.


- Nancy on 8/31/2001


(No Comment)

- Lyn on 9/1/2001


White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit

cos that's what my girlfried says..


- RedDogRides on 9/2/2001


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit -

My girlfriend's father is obsessive about it - last month he reportedly was muttering "rabbit rabbit rabbit" every time he rolled over in his sleep, all night. As for us, we almost always fall victim to "press snooze" as our first words. But we were delighted to have remembered on Jan 1, 2000 and plan on having a very lucky millennium.


- SteveW on 11/5/2001


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit -

but of course

we always thought my mother (b 1940) made it up

betsy, norwich ct (grew up and heard it in VA)


- Betsy on 12/3/2001


Why a Rabbit at all? They shed, smell, shit all over, and reproduce when you least expect it. I know you can do better than that!

- Bonnie on 6/19/2002


The way I heard it (and I still do this whenever possible, even as a supposed "adult") was

Before you go to bed on the last day of the month, the last thing you should speak aloud is "bunny bunny".

In the morning of the new month, the first words out of your mouth must be "rabbit rabbit".

I got this from a children's book when I was a kid.

So, I vote for

bunny-bunny/rabbit-rabbit!


- KevinK on 6/19/2002


Oy! The Rabbit site is a bit under or over my head, I can't decide!

- Joan on 6/19/2002


The only rabbits I ever heard about was when I represented Charles River Laboratories -- that raises mice, rabbits, etc for scientific research. Was there reference to rabbits at Dendritics?

- Joan on 6/19/2002


Did I really say that about saying white rabbit fast three times fast sounding like a blubbering idiot??? When did I say that? Sounds like something I would say, but don't remember when I said it. Anyhow it is true, but if it is bad luck in Okinawa, I am not saying it! Don’t want to take anyone's luck away. If you visit Okinawa on the first of the month, remember NO rabbits. I somehow suspect saying rabbit rabbit, won't bring luck, because in the old days if the rabbit died it meant the woman was pregnant. How lucky was that? Then again I suppose it depended on the woman. One woman's miracle could be another's nightmare! For Zena, Marie Dioguardi and my mother it was definitely miraculous, at least when the three of us were conceived, don't you think?

- Maryann on 6/20/2002


I heard about the "rabbit" thing my freshman year at UConn back in the '70's (a-hem!) from a girl from Milton Conn who lived on my floor.

I had completely forgotten about it until I saw it again on your web site....

Does saying "white rabbit" make it luckier????!!!! Has a scientific study ever been done?


- KathyC on 7/7/2002


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit - That's my vote - I once heard it from a Greek Orthodox friend, and this is the classic thing to do on the first day of the month-the first utterance from your mouth. Whoever says it first has the best luck all month. This is a great Web site!

Wait-you actually work for someone at this site?? What is your story? Tell me more about what you do! I want to get into your field, if it involves stories and votes and legends. Where are you based? What is your exact title? What does "Inventor-Gemscales" mean?? I am quite curious.


- Kathryn on 8/1/2002


(No Comment)

- Ray on 8/1/2002


What's the deal with rabbit rabbit?

You'll have good luck all month if the first words you utter on the first of the month are "rabbit rabbit." Bonus luck if it's your birth month.

If it's the first of the month and you're reading this, don't fret. Simply reverse the process as you drift off into slumber land repeating "tibbar tibbar." That's rabbit rabbit backwards. (From http://www.harrumph.com/rabbit/)


- Heather on 8/1/2002


There are people who believe it's good luck to repeat the mantra "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" as their first spoken words on the first day of any month. I'm not sure if this is what the Hattifatteners' recent release, Rabbit Rabbit refers to. The album title has only two Rabbits-- a common variation of the same superstition. To complicate things further, there's a competing theory that suggests the lucky phrase is actually "white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit." These two myths are mutually exclusive, and for those of you have a "rabbit vs. white rabbit" preference, there's even a website that "invites you to vote where the truth lies." (From http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/h/hattifatteners/rabbit-rabbit.shtml)

- Kristin on 8/1/2002


Nancy is the only member of the Montreal Radio One team who fervently believes that if she says, "white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit," before anything else on the first day of the month, she will get a present. There is no hard evidence yet that this works, but she keeps trying. (From http://montreal.cbc.ca/daybreak/bio.html)

- Nancy Wood on 8/1/2002


RABBITS - I think our family inherited it from somewhere and until now we never knew where it came from. Every month, we try and say 'rabbits' to everyone in our family first - if we get them all, then it's good luck that month.

- JohnG on 8/2/2002


Yep, just "Rabbits".

I think my mom got it from a co-worker years ago and since then we've been doing it. I'll have to ask her. You miss out on good luck for the month if you miss any of the family. It's not bad luck, you just don't get really good luck for the month.


- JohnG on 8/4/2002


I have been saying this since childhood days and I am now in my seventys

- George on 8/14/2002


Have never heard that Rabbit Rabbit thing. Except for White Rabbit from Alice & Wonderland & also Grace Slick & Jefferson Airplane. Interesting to see it appear a couple times of saying it first thing 3 X first day of the month; or for keeping in touch with military men.

Printed out the entire thing so I can read it on the train home. Very interesting.


- Laura on 8/15/2002


Our family uses this as per subject. We use it for the full 12 mos. Of the year.

Thanks for the help


- George2 on 9/18/2002


just white rabbits, first thing first of the month

I'm not actually a Londoner; it is a saying I picked up when I lived in Lancashire for a few years. I am not at all sure of the origins, but you must say it before you say anything else on the first day of the month. Then you will have good luck for that month. Can't actually prove it, but will keep a record of how lucky I am next time I remember to say it first thing!


- Jakki on 10/1/2002


Sorry guys... your all wrong! The correct saying, and incidently the only way you will get good luck is to say 'White Rabbit' on the 1st of March only. I can prove this as I said it last March and have since won every bet I have made...(quite a few!).

- Kelly on 10/1/2002




- SteveH on 10/1/2002


my mother - who is from the north of england has said it to my sister and I since we were very little - about thirty years now :)

always wr, wr, wr and a pinch and a punch for the first of the month - followed by the receiver of the pinch and a punch with a slap and a kick for being so quick!

oh it's for good luck alright :) - ladybirds are lucky too


- The Ferret on 10/4/2002


We always said it as kids on the first of the month and still do, and so do my kids. My mother first heard it in 1947 from a woman she met in Ann Arbor MI, where my dad was in school. The woman was originally from Albuquerque, NM but had attended the U. of Wisconsin at Madison, so she might have picked it up in either place.

Mom always said that RRR would bring good luck for the month. By the way, I sent her the link to your web site, so you might hear from her (Sally). I always say that it will bring the most luck if you are the first to say it, but I always thought it was a good thing to say either way. I never believed that it would steal luck from anyone else or that it was a zero-sum kind of thing.

I'm not generally superstitious, and I've always thought of RRR as really just a fun kind of thing. I think it helps keep the kid in me, so to speak.


- Phil in St. Louis on 10/7/2002


The Guest Rabbit is here to settle, once and for all, the great Foo Foo debate.

When she was a child, the Guest Rabbit learned a charming, if somewhat inexplicable song about a small hopping forest creature who had an odd field mouse bopping fetish. This went on for far too long, until an intervention by a kindly Blue Fairy, who threatened impending Goondom for the protagonist if he did not change his evil ways.

The Guest Rabbit learned this odd little ditty (at approximately the same time as she learned other mysterious things involving tuffets and people living in shoes) as "Little Rabbit Foo Foo". When she grew up and moved far away, she learned that other people sing the song as "Little Bunny Foo Foo." She was horrified. (At this point those of you who have never heard of this song are completely lost. Rabbit: http://guidinguk.freeservers.com/Foo-Foo.html (warning, there's music) or Bunny: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pfa/dreamhouse/nursery/rhymes/foofoo.html )

She set out to find a definitive answer: Rabbit or Bunny? Google supports "little bunny foo foo", with 1260 results to 370 for "little rabbit foo foo" (though without quotes, it's much closer: 3290 to 3130). Other debates arise around what the small leporid does to the field mice (bopping vs. bashing), the signature quality of the Fairy (Blue or Good), and if one must include the moral of the story ("hare today, goon tomorrow!") The Guest Rabbit is fond of "bopping", "Blue", and the moral, if you must know. The Guest Rabbit also believes that the moral needs to be delivered with a really horrible cackle, though she is not entirely sure why the Blue Fairy would cackle. As it happens, there are many things about this song that the Guest Rabbit does not quite understand.

Through the magic of Google Groups, the Guest Rabbit uncovered an elaborate explanation involving Shakespeare, Chaucer and Gertrude Stein. The Guest Rabbit makes no warranty as to the accuracy of this explanation, but was highly amused nonetheless: http://makeashorterlink.com/?C3E321E91

And now, you can help settle this once and for all, by voting in the official LITTLE _____ FOO FOO poll (feel free to invite others to vote too): http://vote.sparklit.com/web_poll.spark/672928

Please note that the Guest Rabbit will continue to sing the song as "Little RABBIT Foo Foo", no matter how the vote turns out.

Please further note that singing the song as "Rabbit Rabbit Foo Foo" on the first day of every month will count towards your good luck, as described above. Singing the song as "Bunny Bunny Foo Foo" is obviously useless. (From http://www.harrumph.com/rabbit)


- Judith on 10/21/2002


For no particular reason... Robot rabbits inspired by an email from kfan (thanks!)

Robot rabbit! http://www.exitwound.com/xw/?archive=2002_06#280023

Robot Rabbit http://www.zprod.org/zLab/z2001RaFrame.html

Robot Rabbit http://chaoskids.com/ROBOTS/RABBIT/rabbit.html

Bunny and the Robot http://www.unmuseum.org/crr/bsrob.htm

Walking Rabbit http://www.salmagundi-tintoys.com/animals/an_39.html

(From http://www.harrumph.com/rabbit)


- Heather on 10/21/2002


A few rabbit links for June to keep you entertained:

meet the rabbit !!! Www.esu.lt/andrius/10/go.htm

rabbit blog http://www.tinylittlepenis.com/

oolong http://www.fsinet.or.jp/~sokaisha/rabbit/rabbit.htm (in Japanese - the pancake on head rabbit web site)

Rabbit Language: The definitive guide to communicate with your bunny. Http://www.webhippie.com/rabbit_lang/

The Velveteen Rabbit http://www.mindspring.com/~mccarthys/cybrary/velvet.htm

And April 1st isn't just for rabbits! The French have "poisson d'avril." Essentially, you stick a paper fish onto someone's back and cry "poisson d'avril." Think of April Fools meets "kick me." Here's a link to a few fish to print, colour, cut out and stick on someone's back. Remember to say "poisson d'avril!"

http://www.harrumph.com/img/0302-fish.gif

(From http://www.harrumph.com/rabbit)


- Heather on 10/21/2002


I was browsing an Alice in Wonderland White Rabbit page when I found your link. Actually, I never heard of this ritual before, but I took an instant liking to it, and I am sure to pass it on from here on out. Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit - the first words on the first of the month. It's votes like this that are of major importance to mankind, don't you think?

- Klaus on 10/23/2002


Our family has always followed the "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" competition on the first day of each month. It is fun, especially for kids (and it's OK to prod them with bunny faces, hopping, etc.). It spreads well to others, probably the competitiveness element. Good to know we're not alone.

- TomC on 11/1/2002


Here's my version: On the first of the month, before I eat or drink anything, I say "Bunny, bunny, please bring me a present." If I forget and eat or drink something, I say "Bunny, bunny, please bring me a present. I'm sorry I drank/ate my _____." If I don't say it all, I run the risk of not getting any presents for the entire month.

This tradition comes to me from my family in England.


- Elizabeth on 11/2/2002


Couldn't help but think of you and Marian when this image came back from the camera store. On a recent trip up to Ipswich we stopped at an orchard/farm stand and these bunnies were running around free beneath cages of confined rabbits. Turns out these white rabbits are ones that have escaped, keep breeding, and are ferral now. They're not stupid though, because they still hang around where there's plenty of fresh hay, water, food, etc. They just won't let you touch them - also probably smart, well as smart as a rabbit can be! Should we have had lots of good luck since seeing them? Seems like things have been pretty good.
ciao


- Virginia on 11/11/2002


My dad's family grew up saying 'rabbits' just once on the first day of the month for good luck that month. It didn't have to be the first thing out of your mouth, but you had to be the first person in the household to say it. When I grew up my dad had changed it to 'bunnies', why I don't know, so I try to beat whomever I'm living with at saying bunnies before they say it every month.

- Marietta on 11/22/2002


White Rabbit theory. This is not exactly a disease, but it seemed to go here. (from lewiscarroll.org)

- LewisCarroll.org on 11/28/2002


Not a different rabbit. We only said it once and it was supposed to bring good luck but there was the competitiveness of it to do it first. I think it must be a very old tradition and it would be interesting to trace. I am 78 and learned from my mother and it was certainly a tradition when she was young. I saw it mentioned once in an Evelyn Waugh book. I suspect it has its roots in England.

I don't know what Evelyn Waugh book. I have tried to remember. It was mentioned, as I remember, as if anyone would understand what it meant. I, also, ran across it in a book I read the other day, which was why I searched in Google and came up with your site. It was a mystery called The Body in the Bonfire by Katherine Hall Page and I can't find the reference but will. The author lives in Massachusetts. My mother was born and brought up in Kentucky.

I read the tales on the site and because mine seemed to be the oldest, I wrote. When I get time I am going to look in English folk lore books. Fascinating to have something so OLD stay in folk memory so long. Will get back and copy the quote in the Page book. I copied it for my daughter and now can't find it.

Here's the quote from The Body in the Bonfire by Katherine Hall Page. It's a new book-2002 from William Morrow, p.195 and 196. Rabbit, rabbit, Faith had said to Tom. It was the first day of February. Not a single person she'd encountered since her move to Aleford (imaginary town in Massachusetts) had ever been able to explain the derivation of this old custom- that you'd have good luck all month if you said Rabbit, rabbit upon awakening on the first day. Lucky rabbit's foot taken a few hops further? Some months, she forgot. Not this month.

2 rabbits and not said to anyone necessarily.


- Peg on 12/15/2002


Which has more ribs, a cat or a rabbit?

Cats have thirteen pairs of ribs, rabbits twelve. Moreover, a cat’s ribs are rounded, a rabbit’s are flattened.


- Cat-vs-Rabbit on 12/15/2002


Henry Miller (1891-1980) wrote: America is no place for an artist: to be an artist is to be a moral leper, an economic misfit, a social liability. A corn-fed hog enjoys a better life than a creative writer, painter, or musician. To be a rabbit is better still.

- HenryMiller on 12/15/2002


John Steinbeck (1902 - 1968) wrote: Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple, learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

- JohnSteinbeck on 12/15/2002


My mother was born in Lexington, KY in 1893 and lived there until 1916. I am a genealogist and know a good deal about her family and also about Lexington. Aside from the black population, most of the whites came from Virginia and Maryland, with English backgrounds, with a tad of Germans, and that was her background, too.

For it to have spread so far, there has to be a central spot where it started and England (as opposed to Ireland and Scotland) makes sense. One thing that bothers me, if it is really ancient as I think, is when did people become really aware of the change of months?

I spent a good deal of time yesterday in the card catalog at the University Library looking for superstitions and rabbits and didn't come up with any book to pursue.

I e-mailed a friend, who lives in Canada, but moved from England as an adult. I asked her if she knew this and she replied, "I had forgotten about the "rabbit" bit. It's a curious custom, isn't it? If you find out where it came from, let me know." This is hardly proof but I don't think an American born chosen at random would know what I was talking about. My husband has some English cousins and when Christmas is over, I will query them.


- Peg on 12/18/2002


I am now 64 years of age, and my Mother always said 'White Rabbits' as long ago as I can remember, from over 60 years anyway. It is always said on the first day of the month, before any other words are spoken, and doubly at the start of a new year. Why rabbits, I don't know, as there are no actual live rabbits.

I am from England, as were my parents before me. My Mother had never been abroad. My Father only abroad in Italy in WW2, when he came home terribly injured, but still alive, thank goodness.

I also have never left these shores, in fact I hardly moved out of the county, Yorkshire, where I was born, we must all seem very insular, to people nowadays who travel to all corners of the globe for holidays.

Any road up, as we say here, back to the Bunnies. Mother said it only once during the year, twice at New Year. I always say every month, all through the year, 'White Rabbits, White Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits, White Rabbits' for, I hope, extra good luck. I had never heard of 'Tibbar', though this is good to know.


- JenniW on 1/2/2003


How about a white armadillo? We could spray-paint it!

Why not? I DID remember to White rabbit this year--I hope it works!

White Armadillos seem especially lucky to me! They are survivors! They may get run down by trucks in the south, but their range keeps expanding and they've been on earth for ages--


- Sheri on 1/2/2003


I just responded to Lee's suggestion--I have a long association with armadillos see http://www.raincity.com/sheri/queen.htm and I think that is why he suggested "white armadillos". No I've never tried it before, but I think I will--but I'll have to intermix them with the much older rabbit tradition--I don't want to miss any of the older tried and true good luck.

A friend of a friend told me about rabbits--she heard about it through a friend from Englad--I told my friends and found there were three who already knew about it (they were of Scottish, Irish and English descent).

I loved your site.


- Sheri on 1/2/2003


How about a white armadillo? We could spray-paint it!

- LeeL on 1/2/2003


My friend Sheri suggested that I write to you to tell you how I first heard about the "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" (sometimes "White rabbit") exclamation to be uttered on the first of the month to guarantee good luck.

We have a friend from the U.K. who stayed with us this summer, and she relayed the tale. She grew up in Northern England (Staithes) and said the legend was one she had known from childhood. She also indicated that there was a children's book that recounted the tale which she read to her own children. (Probably in the 1960s or 1970s.) I'd love to find that book, if you ever come across it!

I've only begun to explore your site, but it is intriguing.


- Rachel on 1/4/2003


Hello JB! Rabbit New Year! I finally got a chance to read through all your updates - very interesting! I've gotten a few of my friends into the rabbit groove, now, and between them and my kids, and now my husband, I really have to watch out on the first of the month! Thanks for taking the time to do this for the rest of us Rabbiteers.

- Jan on 1/6/2003


My grandmother (beginning, in my memory) in 1953 would prop a note in front of the clock, so I'd see it and say 'Rabbit, Rabbit' first thing on the 1st. Our father would pass by our bedroom door during the night and say 'Rabbit, Rabbit', until the girls mumbled in response... It's just what my family 'DOES' and has been doing for ages!

My family (both sides) were native Virginians, center of the state. The only time 'Rabbit, Rabbit' caused confusion was NY's Eve(s) when inevitably heads whipped around to see which drunks were not yelling 'Happy New Year", but 'Rabbit! Rabbit!' instead! :-)


- Nan on 2/5/2003


Hi - I am normally a wild fan of the Rabbiting every month. But this past month, Feb. 1, I beat the 2 people I always say it to by saying it first—HOWEVER, my purse was stolen that night w/all my $$, my credit card, license, etc. I am not so sure how lucky that little rabbit is anymore.

Did anyone else have bad luck with February?? I am considering not playing the game anymore. Please advise.


- Kathryn on 2/28/2003


Hi, I live in Yorkshire, England & ever since I can remember we have said "White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits" (in the plural) on the 1st day of March. It is supposed to be the first thing you say in the morning when you wake, and after that you are supposed to be lucky. I was taught this tradition by my grandmother who was born in 1900, and she had been taught it from her Mother before that, so it is NOT a relatively new tradition. It's also OK to say it on the first day of every month, but March is meant to be the most important one. Hope this helps your theory.

From what I understand there is no competitive nature to this other than having one over those who forgot to say it. I think perhaps it has something to do with the beginning of the year (ie. Spring) and the luck the year might hold, but if this is the case then the tradition must be much older than we first imagined. Thank for your interest in what might be our strangest custom.

Some say that the male "March Hare" is prone to skittish or mad behaviour because of the mating season, and unfortunately we seem to adopt this phrase towards humans for the same reason.

Everyone I know knows of this saying, my husband and his family have always used it also for as long as he can remember, so we didn't have to explain our own madness on the 1st of each month thank goodness! I think it is a rather common saying but we are all a little embarrassed by it.


- Su on 3/1/2003




- Jim on 3/1/2003


I did my version (Bunny Bunny on Feb 28 and Rabbit Rabbit on March 1st), although I do it when I remember instead of making it the last and first thing I say at night and in the morning like I'm supposed to. My new rule is I have to be alone and say it outloud.

Hey sis, do you remember where we learned about "Bunny Bunny/Rabbit Rabbit"? I think it was a book you had with all kinds of different things to do, games to play, songs to sing, kids trivia, etc. I know a guy who runs a web page on this stuff and he's looking for the source of "my version" of the good luck "trick". For some reason I seem to associate it with Susan too...?


- KevinK on 3/3/2003


White bunny rabbits, white bunny rabbits, white bunny rabbits. Heard first when about 10 in the mid 1980s. I live in Medford, MA but first heard the saying in Damariscotta, ME. Saying "white bunny rabbits, white bunny rabbits, white bunny rabbits" means good luck to the one that says it first on the first day of the month - it is more of a competition as to who can say it first and those who don't say it first don't get penalized (they neither get good or bad luck). My mother does it and her boyfriend and now they have dragged my boyfriend into doing it. She used to work at the hospital in Damariscotta and the nurses used to see who could say it first after the stroke of midnight of the first day of the month.

- Christina on 3/3/2003


What a curious page I have happily stumbled upon while searching for the origins of my husband and I shouting 'White Rabbit!" as our first utterance on the first day of each month. It seems we're all searching for the origins.I have NO clue why I am voting for White Rabbit but only that my husband came home from work one day with the story, and it stuck ever since

Wonderful story -! I wish life, and the web, were full of more serendipitous links such as yours, pardon the pun. If memory serves me, it was a fellow named Phil Prince, who hails from Derbyshire. I'll find out his story and send it along. So I'm sorry, we're probably not as much a new strand as a qwerky (sp?) couple who enjoy whimsy.

No, not competitive - we're just supposed to shout (as loud as possible, although that's difficult first thing in the morning, we assume that's part of the challenge) 'White Rabbits'! Once for good luck, each month on the first day. I even type it into my website on some months (if you're keen to see it, I'm www.themep.com). My gosh, I just noticed you are from Waltham. (I have family in Woburn) I had assumed you were in the UK - something about "Dendritic gemscales" just didn't say Boston to me. :-) The gemscales are still most intriguing to me. More interesting than babyscales! (I've recently had my first baby-AND, I studied medical laboratory technology in a former life where we were required to understand the workings and accuracies of all types of lab scales). Congratulations on a wonderfully assembled page, and a pleasure to make your acquaintance! After having read all the entries on your page, I'm also thinking that luck is in the believer. ;-)


- Poots on 3/5/2003


I vote just RABBITS. That is the way my mother taught me. She learned in from her mother who immigrated from England. Saying it first on the first day of the month will bring you GOOD LUCK!. A neighbor of mine from England said "White Rabbit". A very interesting custom.

My grandmother came over about 1910 ..but don't know from what part of England. We have said Rabbitts the first of each month forever…now we Email it. Being the first one to say it….meant GOOD LUCK for that person. I really enjoyed your website. Thanks.


- Linda on 3/12/2003


Anything you can imagine clearly, you can play. That's the great secret. … I am now in central california … I took my class to see a musical revue of Alice in Wonderland last week. That evening I began surfing for things relating to Lewis Carroll, white rabbits, jabberwocky, etc … (Did you ever find yourself doing this perverse rabbit chant?) … no, I don't know what you mean … ok, I admit I did not have ample time to explore. I promise to investigate further. Ciao.

- Randa on 3/18/2003


You guess it. Rabbit.

- Peg on 4/1/2003


DUCK, DUCK - a well meaning quack.

- Dr. Ed on 4/1/2003


(No Comment)

- Joanie on 4/19/2003


Sex in the City episode. When? I'm sorry, I don't remember…………… I asked around and no one else remembers either... sorry!

- Jill S on 6/2/2003


I heard of this from my mother and sister.

- Kathleen on 6/2/2003


This is what I leaned as a child. Considered good luck for the rest of the month.

- Jan May on 8/6/2003


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