I’m a big fan of words in general, but some of my favorite words are nonsense.  Nonsense words just seem more fun to say.  I think, ultimately, I have two women and one man to thank for this.  The man is Dr. Seuss (aka Theo LeSeig, aka Theodore Geisel), who recently celebrated his 106th birthday.  The man himself is no longer with us, but he has left a lasting legacy of wonderful books, many of which are filled to the brim with nonsense words and rhymes.

The two women are my mother and my grandmother.  My grandmother, who is now 91, handed down a collection of nonsense rhymes and lyric that I don’t even know the depths of.  Moments ago, I called my mom to inquire about one of the rhymes, and she spouted off several others that I have never even heard. Mom pledged to teach me these newly rediscovered nonsense rhymes the next time we share a long car ride.

Grandma (aka Doris Claire Burns Perkins) taught elementary school for 30+ years.  She is very proud of her Scottish lineage, which someone in her “clan” has traced all the way back to Robert Burns, the 18th century “national poet of Scotland”.  Grandma is the harbinger of all kinds of wonderful verses, songs, and sayings.  Two of my favorite are below.  I don’t know who wrote them.  To me, it might as well have been grandma.

What a Wonderful Bird the Frog Are
What a wonderful bird the frog are.
When him stands, him sits almost.
When him sits, him stands almost.
Him aint got not tail hardly almost.
When him sits, him sits on what he aint got hardly almost.
Thoor Ping!

Bittle Lum
Was a little Malice Pan, saw a bittle lum
Sittin’ on the sturb cone, chewin’ gubble bum.
MMMM!!! Said the Malice Pan, sibby gum!
Tot in yer cin tan! Said the bittle lum.

I may not have the words to these exactly right, but this is how they are in my head.  I love that they’ve been handed down and that nearly all of my 60+ cousins can recite these.

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