Nursery Rhymes

Little Nancy Etticote

The history of Nursery Rhyme, Little Nancy Etticote, is in our category 'Lost Lyrics of an Old Nursery Rhyme' and the origins of the poem were unknown until one of our visitors, Rilla, provided us with the following information!

The origins of the Little Nancy Etticote Nursery Rhyme
"The origins of the 'Little Nancy Etticote' rhyme is, in fact, a traditional English one and is actually a riddle!!! The answer is a candle!!!

The White petticote is the white candle.
The Red nose is the flame.
And of course the longer (older) the candle burns the shorter it gets!!!"

Many thanks to Rilla for this fascinating explanation.

The History of the Petticoat!
The practice of wearing the petticoat was well established by 1585 and would have been worn by Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). The Elizabethan petticoat is described as an underskirt gathered to the waist and sometimes decorated with bands of fabric or lace trim.

Petticoat Lane - the History of London
A London Map, dated 1603, shows a street called Petticoat Lane. Trade in petticoats was established there by the highly skilled, lace-making, Huguenots who came to London from France following their persecution and the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572. The petticoat Lane Market still exists in London and is situated in Middlesex Street (the name was changed by the prim Victorians who believed it totally inappropriate to mention an item of ladies underclothing) Petticoat Lane holds over 1,000 clothing stalls on Sunday.

Little Nancy Etticote
Nursery Rhyme lyrics, origins and history

Little Nancy Etticote,
In a white petticoat,
And a red nose;
The longer she stands
The shorter she grows.

Little Nancy Etticote
Nursery Rhyme lyrics, origins and history

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