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nursery rhymes,verses, generally brief and usually anonymous, for children. The best-known examples are in English and date mostly from the 17th cent. A popular type of rhyme is used in "counting-out" games, e.g., "Eenie, meenie, minie, mo." The subject matter of the rhymes has been linked by some scholars to actual events in English political history. Most famous of nursery rhymes is the Mother GooseMother Goose,
name associated with nursery rhymes. Most English nursery rhymes have been ascribed to Mother Goose. The origin of the name is still a matter of dispute. Some trace it to a French collection of tales by Charles Perrault (1697) that had the subtitle
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See Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, ed. by I. and P. Opie (1952); studies by L. Eckenstein (1906, repr. 1968) and H. Bett (1924, repr. 1973).