Pinch punch first day of the month white rabbits no return

This morning I was awoken with a pinch and punch from my husband. He actually grinned as he said “Pinch, punch first day of the month”.  A somewhat harsh reminder that today was indeed the first of the month, however as he forgot to say “White rabbits no return” I quickly pinched, punched him back saying “Pinch punch first day of the month white rabbits no return”

white rabbit

Image via Wikipedia

Traditionally if a person gives a pinch and a punch but fails to accurately complete the saying, then the recipient can come back with a pinch and a punch and as long as that person says “first day of the month white rabbits no return” then the silliness can end there.

 

The magic word here is “white rabbits” which means ‘no return.

 

As for the exact origin of this superstition I have been unable to find a definitive answer, although the saying does appeared in print at least as early as 1922.

 

“Why,” the man in the brown hat laughed at him, ‘I thought everybody knew ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.’ If you say ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit’–three times, just like that–first thing in the morning on the first of the month, even before you say your prayers, you’ll get a present before the end of the month.’

 

In parts of Lancashire it is considered unlucky to shoot a black rabbit. This is because the black rabbit was believed to be ancestral spirits returning. In Somerset, white rabbits are said to be witches.

 

The custom of saying “rabbits or white rabbits” is said to bring good luck, many such customs / superstitions have been handed down by word of mouth and although much of the original meaning has been lost the custom is still going strong in the UK.

 

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One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. http://tinyurl.com/whyadarby51421
    Jan 17, 2013 @ 00:02:48

    “Pinch punch first day of the month white rabbits no return Prem2Pram
    - Premature Baby Blog” was in fact a remarkable blog.
    If only there were more blogs just like this one in the internet.
    Nonetheless, thanks for ur precious time,
    Manuel

    Reply

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