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What's the deal, Banana Peel?
November 12, 2007 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Rhyming Idioms: I know a couple of 4-year-olds that were rather tickled when I asked them "What's new, tennis shoe" They begged me for more...

So I gave them "What's the deal, Banana Peel", "What's up, Buttercup" and of course, "See you later, Alligator" with it's "After while, Crocodile". If it's ok with Mom & Dad, I'm going to teach them the chorus to "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover", but can you think of any more rhyming idioms that are 4-year-old appropriate?
posted by dogmom to Writing & Language (101 answers total) 97 users marked this as a favorite
 
“Guess what?”

“What?”

“Chicken butt!”

I’ve said that to my five year old about 304982304 times so far and he doesn’t seem to be getting tired of it yet.
posted by bondcliff at 1:03 PM on November 12, 2007


INK PINK YOU STINK.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:04 PM on November 12, 2007


How now brown cow?
posted by chiababe at 1:04 PM on November 12, 2007


What's cookin', good lookin'?
posted by danb at 1:06 PM on November 12, 2007


What's the story, morning glory?
posted by occhiblu at 1:07 PM on November 12, 2007


What's the plan, Stan?
posted by barrakuda at 1:08 PM on November 12, 2007


In like Flynn
Out like Trout
posted by unixrat at 1:09 PM on November 12, 2007


One of our little neighbor boys used to tell his younger brother, "Shut your lip, potato chip."
posted by amyms at 1:09 PM on November 12, 2007


What's shakin', bacon?
posted by blapst at 1:12 PM on November 12, 2007


What's the word, hummingbird?

My parents would have gotten mad at me if I'd said "butt" or "shut your lip" at age four (though I can cuss freely around them as an adult), so use those with caution.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:12 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


You got it made in the shade
posted by ALongDecember at 1:13 PM on November 12, 2007


What's shakin', Bacon?
posted by cmiller at 1:14 PM on November 12, 2007


There's also a scene from The Muppets Take Manhattan that would crack them up:

Bill the Frog : I'll pick up the bill today, Gil.
Gil the Frog : Would you like something from the grill, Jill?
Jill the Frog : No, meat makes me ill, Gil.

posted by Metroid Baby at 1:16 PM on November 12, 2007


Later, skater!
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:23 PM on November 12, 2007


I'm the boss, applesauce!
posted by Ike_Arumba at 1:25 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Okey Dokey, artichokey!
posted by vytae at 1:28 PM on November 12, 2007


See you soon, Baboon.

(I have a four year old niece. I'm going to have to print this page out and take it to memorize on the plane next week when I go home for Thanksgiving. I'll be the coolest aunt ever!)
posted by happyturtle at 1:31 PM on November 12, 2007


I marked Chicken Butt as best because I forgot how much that used to crack me up, and it made me giggle just reading it again, but I love all of them. It must be the 4-year-old in me.

An aside: For some reason, I thought there was one that rhymed with Jellybean, but "How's your spleen, Jellybean?" just doesn't sound right....
posted by dogmom at 1:31 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


'Looking clean, jellybean' maybe?
posted by happyturtle at 1:32 PM on November 12, 2007


A friend of mine used to sing a song full of rhymes like this. The only part that I remember is "Don't be silly, sasparilly" and something with "no siree bob" something something "corn cob." Now it's going to drive me nuts!
posted by amarynth at 1:34 PM on November 12, 2007


you missed, anarcho-syndicalist!
posted by Mr_Crazyhorse at 1:34 PM on November 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


But you forgot the other part of Chicken Butt...

Do you know why?

Why?

Chicken Thigh!


(My boyfriend and I spend several minutes elaborating on this theme one evening in the not too distant past)
posted by kimdog at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2007


See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile

posted by ceri richard at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


A variation: What's up, chicken butt? I still say that to my kids, and they are in their 20's-early 30's.
posted by wafaa at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2007


Mama mia! Papa pia! Baby's got diarreah!
posted by xo at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2007


Guess why, chicken thigh?
Guess who, chicken poo?
Guess where, chicken hair?
Guess how, chicken cow?

- all work with my favorite 5 year old.
posted by Rumple at 1:41 PM on November 12, 2007


Ok, I was able to find some of the lyrics on google, but can't find the artist:

yes indeedy pumpkin seedy
no siree bob hey diddle corn cob
yeah but no but wait a minute could be so
maybe baby chicken and gravy
dont be silly saspirily
hardly yardly bailin up barley wait a little i dont know!
posted by amarynth at 1:41 PM on November 12, 2007


How about this joke?

"Hey, there's some snoo on your foot!"

"What's snoo?"

"I dunno, what's snoo with you?"
posted by Lieber Frau at 1:42 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's the deal, big wheel?
posted by lannanh at 1:44 PM on November 12, 2007


I make up at least one of these a day for my 2-year old daughter.
They're usually situational kind of things like when flinging food around:
"Keep it on the table, Mabel"
or when splashing water all over the bathroom:
"Keep it in the tub, bub"

Also, a variation on one listed above"
"what's the word, mockingbird"
or just
"what's the word, bird"
posted by dan g. at 1:44 PM on November 12, 2007


I'm sure something could be worked out with 'Who' and 'chicken poo'...
posted by happyturtle at 1:44 PM on November 12, 2007


Don't panic, flight mechanic.
posted by buka at 1:45 PM on November 12, 2007


(Whenever someone has a good idea)

Nice thinkin', Abe Lincoln.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:46 PM on November 12, 2007


Okey Dokey, Smokey, which once confused me when an old girlfriend in college typed it as OKDOKSMOK. "Ock Dock Smock? What are you talking about?"
posted by emelenjr at 1:46 PM on November 12, 2007


Re: jellybean -- Knowwhat-I-mean, Jellybean?
posted by zpousman at 1:47 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oops, should have previewed...

Here are some fun ones here. I especially like 'chop chop lollipop'
posted by happyturtle at 1:50 PM on November 12, 2007


I often quote form an old Bugs Bunny cartoon:

"What's in the bag, dad?"

Baghdad - get it? get it???
posted by GuyZero at 1:52 PM on November 12, 2007


Neato, mosquito!
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:58 PM on November 12, 2007


There's a Wocket in My Pocket might be enjoyed by the four year olds in question. Especially if you make it a competition to see who can recite the next line the fastest as you turn the page.
posted by happyturtle at 1:59 PM on November 12, 2007


Understand, rubber band?
No prob, Bob.
posted by lostburner at 2:02 PM on November 12, 2007


There's a great Life in Hell strip with Akbar and Jeff trading these back and forth. Some classic ones in there like,

Why so glum, chum?
Why so sad, Chad?

and my all time favorite:

Why so cranky, Imperialist Yankee?

If someone could find it online (I can't) that would be aces.
posted by papakwanz at 2:07 PM on November 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh, also: "Ready, Freddy?"
To which the proper response is: "Ready, Betty!"
posted by lostburner at 2:07 PM on November 12, 2007


Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:07 PM on November 12, 2007


What's the deal, Batmobile?
posted by atchafalaya at 2:08 PM on November 12, 2007


Later, tater!
Don't slip, paperclip!
Tie your shoe, kangaroo!
posted by bassjump at 2:08 PM on November 12, 2007


By the way, if they like this, there's a great book called Sideways Stories from Wayside School in which a girl named Rondi and a bully named Terrence trade multiple mild insults in this format. For instance (this is a silly one) "Get lost, Jack Frost!"

These are fantastic books. Maybe a fun bedtime story?


Sorry for lack of link, for some reason my hyperlinks aren't showing up in the preview.
posted by Lieber Frau at 2:15 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But anyhow, I'd rather see
a purple cow than be one.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:19 PM on November 12, 2007


Learn the words to Hoo Doo Voodoo by Woody Guthrie (/Billy Bragg & Wilco) and they might explode with excitement.

The first verse, to be read/sung at speed, is:
Hoodoo voodoo,
Seven twenty, one two;
Haystacks, hostacks,
A B C.
High poker, low joker,
Ninety nine a Zero;
Sidewalk, streetcar,
Dance a goofy dance...

...and so it goes on, it's all very rhythmic and a joy to read or sing aloud.
posted by penguin pie at 2:23 PM on November 12, 2007


Similar but different:
Oh my there's a butfor on your head!
What's a butfor?
Sittin' on! (Or Poopin!)

Does it smell like updog in here? I'm pretty sure it reeks of updog.
(Amazingly LOTS of kids will agree that it smells like updog.)
Eventually, some kid will say..."What's updog?"
NOTHING MUCH DAWG WHAT'S UP WITH YOU?
posted by TomMelee at 2:26 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oooh! My mom and I used to do these when I was little!

Understand, rubber band?
I'm the boss, applesauce!
Get the point, double joint?
posted by IndigoRain at 2:36 PM on November 12, 2007


What's up, buttercup?

Take it easy, sleazy.
posted by ian1977 at 2:42 PM on November 12, 2007


Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey.
posted by The Bellman at 2:44 PM on November 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


we always said:
See you later, crocodile
After a while, alligator

I'm teaching a young friend to say Whattya know daddy-o and
Hey Mama pajama
posted by theora55 at 2:45 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hustle up, Buttercup!
posted by in the methow at 2:45 PM on November 12, 2007


I use these on my son all the time.

Eat your lunch, honeybunch.
Put on your jeans, butter beans.
Shake your bacon, Howard Chaykin! (meaning, let's get going. sorry Mr Chaykin.)
Outta bed, logeyhead!
Off to school, vestibule!
Brush your teef, Keef!
What's your bummer, Joseph Strummer?
Chew your food, Evinrude!

Huh, I just realized that most of those are commands. The rhymes are a sugarcoat, it seems!
posted by maryh at 2:50 PM on November 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Do get The Purple Cow (Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who's Quite Remarkable, at Least) right, please.

I NEVER saw a Purple Cow;
I never hope to See One;
But I can Tell you, Anyhow,
I'd rather See than Be One.


Also, there's a postscript, from when Gelett Burgess got sick of being known for it:

CONFESSION: and a Portrait, Too,
Upon a Background that I Rue!

Ah, Yes! I Wrote the "Purple Cow" --
I'm Sorry, now, I Wrote it!
But I can Tell you Anyhow,
I'll Kill you if you Quote it!

posted by darksasami at 2:59 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


See ya later, aligator; in a while, crocodile; I'm the boss, applesauce; get the point, elbow joint; understand, rubber band ... I forget the rest.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:05 PM on November 12, 2007


beat feat!
posted by bluesky43 at 3:08 PM on November 12, 2007


as in beat feet!
posted by bluesky43 at 3:08 PM on November 12, 2007


This was a variant on the Purple Cow that I remember from when I was a kid:

I never saw a purple cow,
I never how to see one,
But from the milk we're getting now,
There certainly must be one.
posted by rsclark at 3:12 PM on November 12, 2007


oops, how = hope
posted by rsclark at 3:13 PM on November 12, 2007


One I remember in Spanish, if that works for you:

person a: Que te pasa, calabasa?
person b: Nada nada, limonada

It's nonsense ("What's up pumpkin?" - "Nothing nothing, lemonade") but they're fun to say.
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:18 PM on November 12, 2007


When someone's upset: "Don't flip, potato chip."
posted by HotPatatta at 3:23 PM on November 12, 2007


rsclark, I've seen that attributed as a response by Ogden Nash, but I can't confirm it.

And I've finally remembered my mom's favorite one of these. "Know what I mean, jelly bean?"
posted by darksasami at 3:31 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite, NIGHT!
posted by tristeza at 3:33 PM on November 12, 2007


Roger, Roger.
We have clearance, Clarance.
What's your vector, Victor?

posted by jacobian at 3:37 PM on November 12, 2007


Far out, brussels sprout!
All right, Vegemite!
posted by andraste at 4:09 PM on November 12, 2007


A few from Mrs. Edverb (who teaches Pre-K):

When telling kids to form a line: "I need to see Ready Freddies and Ready Betties"

To sit crosslegged for Circle Time: "Park it on the carpet! Criss-cross applesauce!"

To get their attention: "1-2-3! Eyes on me"

When a kid is following the bad example of another kid: "Monkey see monkey do, monkey gets in trouble too!"

And one I remember, "Open your hand and close your eyes, and you will get a big surprise"
posted by edverb at 4:10 PM on November 12, 2007


Oh yeah, that reminds me of "ready, settee, spaghetti," which I'd forgotten about. Also, when "Smooth move, Ex-Lax" became a popular taunt, the rejoinder "Not at all, Geritol" sprung up to counteract it.
posted by darksasami at 4:18 PM on November 12, 2007


Hasta la pasta!
posted by NikitaNikita at 4:34 PM on November 12, 2007


In response to someone's request: "I'm on it like a bonnet."
posted by TochterAusElysium at 5:05 PM on November 12, 2007


"Slap my hand, black soul man."

"Up your nose with a rubber hose."

"Don't get wise, google eyes, or I'll knock you down to peanut size."
posted by spilon at 5:09 PM on November 12, 2007


An Australian sociologist, June Factor, has published about a number of books compiling children's playground games and slang, including a ton of these rhymes.
-Far Out, Brussel Sprout!
-All Right, Vegemite!
-Unreal, Banana Peel!
-Real Keen, Baked Bean!
-Roll Over, Pavlova!
They're available on ebay or a few online bookstores.
posted by jacalata at 5:22 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's the hub, bub?

Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!
posted by aofl at 5:47 PM on November 12, 2007


Hasta Lasagna, don't get any on ya!
posted by sandra_s at 5:52 PM on November 12, 2007


These are great. For a scholarly take on this kind of stuff, see the great Lore and Language of Schoolchildren: "First published in 1959, Iona and Peter Opie's The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren is a pathbreaking work of scholarship that is also a splendid and enduring work of literature. Going outside the nursery, with its assortment of parent-approved entertainments, to observe and investigate the day-to-day creative intelligence and activities of children, the Opies bring to life the rites and rhymes, jokes and jeers, laws, games, and secret spells of what has been called 'the greatest of savage tribes, and the only one which shows no signs of dying out.'"
posted by chinston at 6:04 PM on November 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


My daughter's class sits "criss cross, applesauce." Again with the sugar-coated commands.
posted by artifarce at 7:16 PM on November 12, 2007


Hands off cocks, on with socks!
posted by flabdablet at 7:22 PM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


A friend with weed is a friend indeed.
posted by quadog at 7:57 PM on November 12, 2007


Perhaps, amarynth, you're thinking of Cab Calloway's song Everybody Eats When They Come To My House?
posted by moreandmoreso at 8:07 PM on November 12, 2007


What's kickin', kitten?
posted by dismas at 9:18 PM on November 12, 2007


These remind me of the books by June Factor I read in Primary School, full of rhymes and poems. The titles were as follows:

Far Out, Brussel Sprout!
All Right, Vegemite!
Unreal, Banana Peel!
Real Keen, Baked Bean!
Roll Over, Pavlova!
posted by kjs4 at 9:51 PM on November 12, 2007


Peace out cub scout!
posted by datacenter refugee at 10:28 PM on November 12, 2007


(How are you?)
Peachy keen, jelly bean!
posted by clh at 11:46 PM on November 12, 2007


Peachy keen, jelly bean!
posted by Dreama at 11:49 PM on November 12, 2007


Jinx, clh!
posted by Dreama at 11:49 PM on November 12, 2007


Hey Joe, whaddya know?
posted by catburger at 4:36 AM on November 13, 2007


Cheers, big ears

(Bonus, adults only response: **** off Noddy!)
posted by Ness at 5:10 AM on November 13, 2007


Our answer to "Understand, Rubber Band?" was always "Understood, Robin Hood."
posted by sagwalla at 5:14 AM on November 13, 2007


Slap me five. Other side. In the hole. You got soul.

(Where "in the hole" is a clenched fist).
posted by Sk4n at 8:21 AM on November 13, 2007


See you later, alligator.
In a while, crocodile

Till then, penguin.
Manana, iguana.

And I thought the proper response to "Ready, Freddy?" was "Go, Joe!"
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2007


Where do you live? In a sieve?
What's your number, cucumber?
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:57 AM on November 13, 2007


Easy Peasey Japaneasy
posted by triggerfinger at 11:35 AM on November 13, 2007


see you later calculator / computator

and just Nth the Chicken butt thing. Its one of my favorite things I have taught my kids. My two year old delights in saying it.
posted by Jonsnews at 1:12 PM on November 13, 2007


Make it snappy, pappy. Or what my brothers used to say, make it snappy, nappy.
posted by Ugh at 2:52 PM on November 13, 2007


My boyfriend and I have come up with a whole bunch of rhymes based on "Yellow Submarine" (sing it to the tune):

We all live in a yellow submarine
A tub of margarine
A squashed jellybean
A broken coke machine
A giant tangerine
A forest evergreen
A leg with gangrene
A place no one's been
A spot that's very clean
A cut of meat thats lean
Somewhere in between
With a guy that's very mean
The castle of a queen
Near a sight rarely seen
With a rebellious teen
State quarantine
On way too much caffeine

we also have some not-child-friendly rhymes for this...
posted by divabat at 4:30 PM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


stopped reading halfway thru (I'll get back to it) Hope no one beat me to it:

Off kilter, Metafilter!
posted by nax at 5:17 PM on November 13, 2007


See you soon, baboon.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:28 PM on November 13, 2007


"What's up, Doc? Can I rock?"
posted by Neilopolis at 4:26 PM on November 14, 2007


You're mine, Frankenstein

I'm on ya, lasagna
posted by ORthey at 10:24 PM on November 16, 2007


All the rhymes, recorded.
posted by divabat at 5:39 AM on November 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


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