The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164565 Message #3940195
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
29-Jul-18 - 05:42 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Children's games
Subject: RE: Folklore: Children's games
One potater, two potater, three potater, four
five potater, six potater, seven potater, MORE.
'Potater' being an attempt to convey the way we said potato in this chant, including the pack of differentiation of the plural, which was relatively common over a range of nouns eg inch, yard, mile etc.
You'd stand in a circle, and you had to hold both your fists out in front of you and the person counting would gently thump your fists in turn with his, going clockwise from a random starting point. If 'more' landed on your fist it had to go behind your back and wasn't in the next round. It was repeated until the last fist remained, which was 'on' or whatever. You had to remember if the counter's fist/s were out of it.
We did this with a cousin.
Otherwise we generally used a 'bagsy' system. 'Bagsy you be on' (ie the chaser in 'tick'). First person to say it got what they wanted.
This was England in the 1950s