It’s The 1st of the Month: Did You Say “Rabbit Rabbit”?image preview

It’s The 1st of the Month: Did You Say “Rabbit Rabbit”?

“Rabbit rabbit!”

No, it’s not about scaring them out of your garden, but saying these two words before any others on the first day of the month is a quirky little tradition that many follow for good luck. But where did it come from and what does it mean?

Why A Rabbit?

According to superstition, saying “rabbit rabbit” before anything else on the first day of the month will bring you good luck for 30 days. But why? And why rabbits and not another animal?

There seems to be some confusion about the actual origination of the phrase, but the first written record of saying “rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of the month can be traced back to a 1909 British periodical called Notes And Queries, where the author indicates that his daughters always say “Rabbits!” on the first day of a new month for luck.

The word must be said aloud, and be the first word spoken for the day. While he provides no specific explanation, it is most likely connected to the fact that rabbits are associated with luck, which they have been for over 2,000 years.

This is why many people—including Franklin D. Roosevelt during his presidential campaign—would carry around a rabbit’s foot as a good luck charm.

During World War II, British fighter pilots were known to say “white rabbits” for luck every day—not just the first day of the month.  Other variations of this superstition include saying “rabbit” three times in a row rather than just two.

But no matter how many times you say it, the rabbit-uttering tradition seems to be most popular in North America and Great Britain.

Have you ever heard of this tradition and do you practice it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Shirley J Hill House
Shirley J Hill House
1 year ago

It is especially interesting to me to read about “Rabbit, rabbit” because I’m 68 and have never heard of it – at all. (although in times past, me and other people had a rabbit’s foot for luck). Which originated the first ? the saying or the “foot”? … I live in North America and my Mom’s people come from England. I will google more information on it because I would like read more about the tradition. These are the kinds of things I like to learn about. Thank you for sharing.

Gershon Ferency
Gershon Ferency
1 year ago

I’m almost 68 and had a 2nd grade teacher in Quincy, MA that taught us to say ‘rabbit, rabbit’ first thing on the 1st of the month.

Janine Carlson
Janine Carlson
1 year ago

Yes! I have heard about it. I worked with a woman back in the early 1980’s . She was the one who told me about it.

Gail Nemetz
Gail Nemetz
1 year ago

I say Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit at the beginning of the month. Think I first heard about it from my 7th grade English teacher. And yes, I said it this morning!

Tina Prihar
Tina Prihar
1 year ago

Yes, and Yes! In 1988 my HS freshman history teacher told us about it, and I’ve been saying it ever since; well when I remember anyway. 🙂

Matt F
Matt F
1 year ago

Being from England originally, I grew up saying “White Rabbits, White Rabbits, White Rabbits” on the first day of each month, and I continue the tradition to this day. Superstition or not, you can never have too much luck. 🙂

Lauri Major
Lauri Major
1 year ago

Since high school, 1970’s, I have been saying bunny bunny every first day of the month. I’m not sure who taught it to me. I have had my husband and children saying it for the past 25 years.

Michelle P
Michelle P
1 year ago

I have never heard this before. Since I missed it this month I will definitely try it next month. Thanks for sharing.

Connie Hoffman
Connie Hoffman
1 year ago

I say May Day, May Day, May Day every May 1. Was disappointed when I didn’t see anybody comment on that.

Lily Willow
Lily Willow
1 year ago

My Mum always said Rabbit Rabbit first words on the first of every month, I
Carry on that lovely tradition!

Susan Sherwin
Susan Sherwin
1 year ago

Yes I did. Years ago a friend told me about saying Rabbit Rabbit,never heard of it till then. So I started saying it, what the hay can it hurt? And if it helps bring good luck all the better.

Ariel
Ariel
1 year ago

For years we have a game where you have to say “Rabbits!” to your family friends before they say it to you on the first of the month. It began as far as I know from a summer camp where many of us worked. I know people who have planted rabbits all over their friends cars, bedrooms, etc to try to beat them in saying rabbits. My 8 year son loves the game!

Denise
Denise
1 year ago

One of my dear college roommates from the mid-70’s was from Buffalo, NY. On the 1st day of each month she would say “Pinch-punch—first of the month! Rabbit–rabbit!” This morning on my way to an early doctor’s appt., I said her words aloud and said “this is for you, Cricky!!” Imagine my surprise when I later read my emails and saw yours about “Rabbit–rabbit”!. It was especially comforting given that we lost our beloved Cricky to cancer 10 years ago. THANK YOU!!

Pam
Pam
1 year ago

We said “rabbit rabbit” when sitting at a bonfire. It was supposed to ward off the smoke blowing into your eyes.

Travis
Travis
7 months ago
Reply to  Pam

That is one that to this day I still use, as well as my daughters…..and it always seems to work!

Beth Riggs
Beth Riggs
1 year ago

I learned about saying “Rabbit Rabbit” for luck on the first day of each month from the late Kathryn Tucker Windham, beloved Alabama storyteller. She had a radio spot on the APR public radio station for years before her death. I carry on the tradition and still her the words in her crackly voice – over 90 years when she died. I text rabbits to friends the morning of the first! Thanks for this article!

Heather Boyd
Heather Boyd
1 year ago

I am 80 and mother always had us say rabbit once on the first. Always wondered why. Did it this morning.Thank you.

Jamie
Jamie
1 year ago

I heard of this when I was helping a resident at a VA home. He said his mother had taught him that but he didn’t know why. 20 years later I still try to remember to say it. Got it this morning! Thanks for the history behind it.

Marcy Walsh
Marcy Walsh
1 year ago

A friend of mine told me about this years ago. I don’t always remember to do it each month but I always say Rabbit Rabbit at midnight Jan 1!

Cynthia Lovell
Cynthia Lovell
1 year ago

I have been saying R-R-R while rubbing my belly and tapping my head forever. (start with the rub then add the tap, otherwise if you start with the tap you’ll end up tapping the belly.) I always do it on New Year’s Eve which I claim covers me for the months that I goof. I am a nurse and always worked NYE so would collect as many nurse’s (and patients) at the nurse’s station for the ball drop and we’d all tap and rub and turn around in a circle 3 times while saying R-R-R.

Kyle S
Kyle S
1 year ago

I also subscribe to the forgiveness piece of this superstition if you forget it on the first day – I was taught that if you do forget you can make up for it by saying Tibbar Tibbar on the second day if the month. It’s Rabbit Rabbit backwards. Works for me!

Linda James
Linda James
1 year ago

I learned to say it from my First Grade teacher about 60 years ago. I always say it (first words out of my mouth on the first day of the month.). My husband, our daughter, my friends all say it.

Thanks for the background info!

Terri
Terri
1 year ago

I say it…have for years! Not sure where I learned it…

Diane Martin
Diane Martin
1 year ago

My Dad always said Rabbit Rabbit on the first of the month but my know it all brother in law insists its white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit!

MC
MC
1 year ago

Absolutely!

Kelly
Kelly
1 year ago

I have never heard of tdd his but I will start this tradition!

Mary Fairchild
Mary Fairchild
1 year ago

Every single month for the past 55 years!

Angela C. Fields
Angela C. Fields
1 year ago

I found a book of ‘mountain superstitions’ back in 1985 or 1986 and this was listed in it as “Rabbits to you” on the first of the month. Whoever says it first to others wins, I guess. I taught it to my mom and sister and we’ve done it ever since.

My mother used to try and sneak one over on me by calling me up on the last day of the month and yelling out “Rabbits to you!”. According to her, it worked preemptively. I told her she was just cheating. But then again, I set an alarm for for 11:57pm on New Year’s Eve just so I could get my sister at 12:01am Jan 1, so maybe I shouldn’t throw stones.

ArlineG
ArlineG
1 year ago

I’ve not heard of this before…however, I say good morning to all the rabbits in my yard that chew the buds off roses and lavender…Mrs McGregor is watching

Sam Beau
Sam Beau
1 year ago

I did say Rabbit Rabbit after I got up yesterday morning and also sent it to my wife who repeated it back to me and I do believe we had luck yesterday. First, I was given a 20% discount on a car battery when I told the lady at checkout that I couldn’t find my mailed coupons, then when I finished the install we had gotten 8 more $10 rebates in the mail that went with the four we had already received. Plus an application to send in for $20 on the battery. Got home and went out to start my dual burning smoker and at first the propane didn’t light so the charcoal wasn’t burning so I hit the starter switch and I had a big blast that threw me about four feet into my neighbors fence and amazingly I didn’t get burnt or caught fire . Was I lucky or was I being watched from above? Both I believe.

Susan Higgins
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Beau

Sam, that’s an incredible story!!! Thanks for sharing!!

Dina
Dina
1 year ago

I leaned about rabbit rabbit reading Trixie Belden books! (Trixie was a juvenile mystery series similar to Nancy Drew.) I honestly didn’t know the back story of this, so I’m glad for the info!

Brandon Hartford
Brandon Hartford
1 year ago

I first heard of this from reading Trixie Belden detective/mystery books as a kid. I can’t say I have ever tried to do it as described, but always wondered where the tradition came from and also whether it was just a part of the fictional story or if it existed in real life. Very interesting !

Mary
Mary
7 months ago

I dont remember this from trixie Bolden books. This article was the first time I’ve ever heard of this.

Paul Indelicato
Paul Indelicato
1 year ago

I’ve seen people post “rabbit rabbit” as their Facebook status, but didn’t know what it was about until your article. We have a young rabbit living right outside our living room window and my girlfriend feeds it pieces of carrots almost every day since we moved in. This morning (the 1st of June), her rabbit friend made an appearance at dawn, so I’m going to take that as a sign of good luck to come. Now, it’s off to the car dealership for some trading. Wish me rabbits luck everyone!!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
1 year ago

My Irish mother taught us to say ‘white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits’ on a Tuesday morning before saying anything else. This ensured something interesting would happen that day.

kimberwolf
kimberwolf
1 year ago

I also learned it as “white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit” – but not until my 20’s. And I did remember to say it this morning!!! 😀

Susie
Susie
1 year ago

We were told it was White Rabbit. Was a fun way to start a new month during college

Jolene
Jolene
1 year ago

And all these years I’ve been saying “Bunny bunny”!

Nancy
Nancy
1 year ago

My father-in-law told me about it ( rabbits rabbits rabbits) and have said it every 1st day of the month for 46 yrs.

Jane Walker
Jane Walker
1 year ago

I say it without fail every month. My college roommate told me about this 49 years ago.

K Turner
K Turner
1 year ago

I also grew up saying “pinch punch ” first day of the month, but we did include “white rabitts” at the end of it

Gail
Gail
1 year ago

I try to always say Rabbit Rabbit. Every month. I also have many people in my Facebook community saying and posting it. It’s fun when people join in on this.

Ruby Smith
Ruby Smith
1 year ago

The late Kathryn Tucker Windham, a famous Alabama storyteller and author, kept the tradition going. She told me that if I remembered to say “Rabbit Rabbit” the first thing on the first of each month that I was invited to join her and others who remembered for breakfast at a local Selma restaurant.

Kelli
Kelli
1 year ago

I have never heard of this. I grew up in Pennsylvania and have no English ancestry, as far as I know. (Pop-up ads make the comments feature almost impossible to use.)

Robin
Robin
1 year ago

I am 65 years old. I had a substitute teacher in Middle School that told us about Rabbit Rabbit. I have been saying it since then.

Amanda Ganser
Amanda Ganser
1 year ago

I thought it was only October and to say Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit – (three times) I could have been lucky all the other months as well! 🙂

B McMullan
B McMullan
1 year ago

My dad, his dad, and his grandfather were all from Belfast in Northern Ireland. I believe that his great-grandfather was from Lisburn, a small town very close to Belfast. Prior to that, the McMullans lived in the Scottish Lowlands. The saying for good luck throughout the month that had been passed down through those four generations and on to me, William John IV, was “White Rabbits and Golden Sovereigns.” I have passed it to my two sons, William John V and Ryan Patrick.

My mom, who was Italian, took it up from my dad and passed it on to many of her friends. My dad has been gone for nearly 30 years, but my mom passed in 2018, so I still get a few texts or telephone calls on the first of the month that remind me of them.

Suzy
Suzy
1 year ago

I never heard of this until I had children and saw it on the Nickelodeon TV network. I started posting it on facebook several years ago and now I see lots of people doing it, in fact my sister in law sent me this article!

Melissa
Melissa
9 months ago

I’m just curious to all those who have said it for years, has it really brought you any luck?

Lynn Edwards
Lynn Edwards
9 months ago

We say White Rabbits on the first day of the month.

Kathy Simpson
Kathy Simpson
9 months ago

My grandmother’s people were from Ireland but I’ve never heard this & my folks are no longer with me to ask. I love traditions like this. Hollering out “Christmas Eve Gift” before anyone else on Christmas Eve morning was our big thing. Since I’d already said something, I had my granddaughter say it first thing this morning.

Dana
Dana
9 months ago

Heard from friend, who heard it from a friend who heard it from their grandmother, only white rabbit.