Norwegian Mirror Page

Akkari makkar

Counting out/in rhymes

Elling is the Norwegian word for a counting out (or in) rhyme. Counting out rhymes or selection rhymes are rhythmic rhymes that maintain a pulse. They are used for elimination, choosing; accepting or denying.

The children stand in a row, or on a line, and one person counts by pointing at another child in time with each syllable. The game might also be played by knocking fists. The last one will be free - or chosen.

It is possible that such games were used in the olden days to decide someone's fortune. Someone might be chosen to go to war, hunt or even be sacrified! In some instances death plays a part in the games, as in this very old counting out-rhyme from around year 1000 in Great Britain (the first two lines are in breton):

Ena mena bora mi
Kisca bora nora di
Eggs, butter, cheese, bread
Stick, stock, stone dead.

Or this one from Cornwall, collected 1882:

Ena, mena, mona, mite,
Bascalora, bora, bite,
Hugga, bucca, bau,
Eggs, butter, cheese, bread.
Stick, stock, stone dead - OUT."

There's a bit of magic involved here. Happily no such dire consequences face us in today's counting out-games.On the contrary, such games may help us understand ground principles in maths.

Behind the links you find lyrics, sheet music and sound clips. This site is made for learning purposes, and the sound clips may vary in quality. On my site musikkrom you will find some of these children's songs, and also a large collection of canons and rounds (kanon)

Ai sikka

Akka bakka/Acka backa

Akka bakka nikki

Akkari makkar

Akkori gakkori

Apala mesala

Arke barke



Eanie meanie Bob Saleenie

Eenie meenie minie mo

Eenie meenie mackeracker

Ei sikke lei

Eins, zwei, drø

Eisika deisika

Ellemann sellemann

Elle melle deg fortelle

Elle melle meg fortelle

Elle melle nisten

Elle melle Noggen

Ellinga mellinga Vatlandsguten

En liten nisse

En rød bil

En, to, ti

En to tre

Endika bendika

Ene mene miste

Ene mene ming

Ene mene mu

Ene tene mone mei

Eniken Meniken

Ennikken fenniken

Epler og pærer

Eppel peppel

Erkom verkom

Fille mille makki

I di dodda mi

Ikke devikke

Inky Pinky Ponky

Inna minna

Ip dip

I ri knappoli

Lappete, lusete

Lemons and oranges

Lirum Larum

Okker Gokker

Ola Dilt, Ola Dalt

Ole pole pøne

Ole Dole Doff

Olle Bolle elling

Ollern dollern

One potato two potatoes

One, two, buckle my shoe

One, two, three, four

Ose bose

Reven stjal et hønseben

Ringel rangel rose

Sjutti bang

Ro ro ralte

To hester

Virre Virre vapp

Åle nåle

Siri's new counting out rhymes

Video Eeny Meey Miney Mo - Billie Holliday