How Many Nursery Rhymes Do You Know?


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you a nursery rhymes expert? Almost everyone knows a nursery rhyme or two. Many people grew up hearing them as children. Some are funny, some teach lessons and some are just purely absurd. Children love fantastical situations, talking animals, and all sorts of things which wholly defy reality. These can often be seen in nursery rhymes which often feature all sorts of impractical characters in ridiculous situations.   

Nursery rhymes are traditional poems are songs. Many of the most famous ones in the western world originated in Britain, but they exist in many countries and cultures in various forms. They can also be called Mother Goose Rhymes, as Mother Goose is one of the most famous characters of the most popular nursery rhymes out there. Nursery rhymes as we know them today initially appeared in English plays and later books. These go back a few centuries, specifically to about the 17th and 18th centuries. The first collection of English nursery rhymes called "Tommy Thumb's Song Book," was published before the 1740s. It even had a sequel.  

If you think you know your nursery rhymes well enough to complete them, then put your knowledge to the test with this rhimey wimey quzi! 

"One, two, buckle my shoe Three, four, shut the ________ Five, six, pick up sticks Seven, eight, lay them straight"

"One Two Buckle My Shoe" is a counting rhyme that goes to 20. Its purpose is to help young children learn to count to 20.


"Little Bo-Peep has lost her _________, and doesn't know where to find them;"

"Little Bo Peep" is another classic. Some think it dates back to the Victorian era, while others believe it is older.


"There was a farmer, had a _______, and Bingo was his name-o.

"Bingo" is a classic nursery rhyme. No one is sure of its origins, but it's thought to be a tool to help make kids more comfortable with simple spelling.


"Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man. Bake me a _______ as fast as you can."

"Pat-a-Cake" or "Patty-Cake" is a common child's nursery rhyme. It was first seen recorded in a late 17th century play.


"Hush, little baby, don't say a word Mama's gonna buy you a mockin'bird. If that mockin'bird don't sing Mama's gonna buy you a diamond _________"

"Hush Little Baby" is a popular lullaby sung to babies. It is believed to have originated in the American South.


"Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her __________ and whey."

"Little Miss Muffet" is a favorite. Despite this, no one is quite sure how it got started.


"Rain, rain, go away, Come again another ______."

"Rain Rain Go Away" is one of the most basic and well known of nursery rhymes. It has been sung by children for generations.


"Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the __________."

"Jack Be Nimble" is a nursery rhyme with a surprising origin. It is believed that it might be referred to the old time superstition which declared being able to jump over a candlestick a sign of luck.


"Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was ________ as snow."

"Mary Had a Little Lamb" is one of the most famous of nursery rhymes. It is often sung.


"Some like it hot, Some like it ________, Some like it in the pot, Nine days old."

"Pease Porridge Hot" is an old nursery rhyme that no one knows the origin of. This dish was also called Pease pottage in Middle English.


"Up and down the City road, In and out the Eagle, That’s the way the money goes, _______! goes the weasel."

This tune and rhyme evolved from a mid-19th century English dance. Today it is one of the most well-known nursery rhymes.


"The clock struck two The ________ said "boo"Hickory Dickory Dock"

"Hickory Dickory Dock" dates back to "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book." This is a book of early nursery rhymes.


"All the king's horses and all the king's ________ Couldn't put Humpty together again."

"Humpty Dumpty" is one of the most popular nursery rhymes. Even though it is mentioned nowhere in the rhyme that he is an egg, and some believe that this rhyme is actually a reference to King Richard II of England, he is often depicted as an egg.


"Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Catch a _______ by the toe."

"Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe" is a nursery rhyme that has been used in children's games for generations. It's thought to date back to the streets of New York City in the 19th century.


"Cock a doodle _____! My dame has lost her shoe,"

"Cock a Doodle Doo" is an old nursery rhyme. It dates back to the 1600s in England.


"Ring around the rosies, pocket full of _________, ashes, ashes, we all fall down."

This nursery rhyme comes from an older one called "Ring a Ring O Roses," which was thought to be about the bubonic plague. People used to put flowers under their nose to hide the smell of death, hence the pocket full of posies.


"A-tisket a-tasket A green and yellow __________"

These are the opening lines of the classic nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." This nursery rhyme dates back to the 19th Century.


"Baa, baa, ________ sheep, have you any wool?"

This is how the nursery rhyme "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" starts. No one is sure of its meaning but it is often used as a lullaby.


"Five little speckled frogs sat on a speckled _______"

This is the beginning of the rhyme "Five Little Speckled Frogs." In some variations more and more frogs jump off the log, which helps introduces kids to basic counting.


"Morning Bells are Ringing, Morning Bells are __________. Ding, dang, dong! Ding, dang, dong!"

"Frere Jaques" is a popular nursery rhyme around the world. It is most popular in its original French version even though it has been translated into many languages.


"The cow jumped over the moon, The little dog laughed to see such fun, And the _______ ran away with the spoon."

"Hey Diddle Diddle" is a classic nursery rhyme. No one knows exactly what this rhyme is about, but some guess that it dates back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I.


"Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, one a ______, two a penny, hot cross buns,"

"Hot Cross Buns" is an old nursery rhyme and song. No one is sure of its exact roots.


"I'm a little ________, short and stout Here's my handle, here's my spout."

"I'm a Little Teapot" is a very popular action nursery rhyme. This means that children mime it as they sing or recite it.


"It's raining; it's pouring.The old _________ is snoring."

"It's Raining, It's Pouring" is a popular nursery rhyme. It was first recorded in 1939, but probably predates that.


"Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain So the itsy bitsy ________ climbed up the spout again."

"Itsy Bitsy Spider" is a classic nursery rhyme. It dates back to the early 20th century when it was called "The Spider Song."


"Jack and _______ went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water."

"Jack and Jill" is a nursery rhyme classic. Some suspect that it goes back to the days of the English court.


"Little boy blue come blow your horn.The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the ________."

"Little Boy Blue" was first published in the 1744 nursery rhyme collection "Tommy Thumb's Little Song Book." It probably dates back farther than this, however.


"London ________ is falling down, my fair lady."

"The London Bridge" nursery rhyme is also called the "My Fair Lady" nursery rhyme. It is thought to date back to the 17th century.


"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your _________ grow?"

"Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" is an old rhyme. It has been speculated that its roots lay with both the English and Scottish courts.


"Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard, to give the poor dog a ________; When she came there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none."

This is the beginning of the nursery rhyme "Old Mother Hubbard," which is over a dozen stanzas long. It is from the early 1800s.


"One, two, three, four, five. Once I caught a ______ alive."

"One Two Three Four Five" is an old counting rhyme. It was first recorded in "Mother Goose's Melody" in 1765.


"Jack Sprat could eat no _______. His wife could eat no lean."

There are several theories as to the origin of the "Jack Sprat" nursery rhyme. Some say it makes fun of King Charles I of England and his wife Henrietta.


"Here we go round the mulberry ________ so early in the morning."

"Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" has a few names and variations. It is often used as part of a children's' game.


"Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it; Not a ______ was there in it, Only ribbon round it."

"Lucy Locket" is a popular English nursery rhyme. It dates back to the 1700s, when pocket was slang for lover.


"Oh there's none so rare, as can compare, with King Cole and his _______ three."

No one is sure if the king referenced in "Old King Cole" is real or not. Some theorize it refers to the legendary Welsh King Coel Hen.


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