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Did You Say “Rabbit Rabbit” This Morning?

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Did You Say “Rabbit Rabbit” This Morning?

“Rabbit rabbit!”

Do you say those two words before any others on the first day of the month? It’s a quirky little tradition that many follow. 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 “rabbit rabbit for good luck” tradition and do you practice it? Let us know in the comments below!

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47 comments

1 Suzy { 08.03.19 at 3:17 am }

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!

2 B McMullan { 08.01.19 at 9:21 pm }

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.

3 Amanda Ganser { 08.01.19 at 2:45 pm }

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! 🙂

4 Robin { 06.14.19 at 2:51 pm }

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.

5 Kelli { 06.01.19 at 7:47 pm }

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.)

6 Ruby Smith { 06.01.19 at 5:27 pm }

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.

7 Gail { 06.01.19 at 5:06 pm }

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. 🐇🐇

8 K Turner { 06.01.19 at 4:07 pm }

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

9 Jane Walker { 06.01.19 at 12:34 pm }

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

10 Nancy { 06.01.19 at 12:11 pm }

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

11 Jolene { 06.01.19 at 10:43 am }

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

12 Susie { 06.01.19 at 8:27 am }

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

13 kimberwolf { 06.01.19 at 8:03 am }

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!!! 😀

14 Elizabeth { 06.01.19 at 7:07 am }

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.

15 Paul Indelicato { 06.01.19 at 6:57 am }

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!!

16 Brandon Hartford { 05.03.19 at 7:40 am }

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 !

17 Dina { 05.03.19 at 5:54 am }

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!

18 Susan Higgins { 05.06.19 at 4:43 pm }

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

19 Sam Beau { 05.02.19 at 1:27 pm }

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.

20 ArlineG { 05.02.19 at 12:07 pm }

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 🙄

21 Angela C. Fields { 05.02.19 at 11:13 am }

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.

22 Mary Fairchild { 05.02.19 at 6:40 am }

Every single month for the past 55 years!

23 Kelly { 05.02.19 at 2:16 am }

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

24 MC { 05.01.19 at 9:34 pm }

Absolutely!

25 Diane Martin { 05.01.19 at 7:19 pm }

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!

26 Terri { 05.01.19 at 5:49 pm }

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

27 Linda James { 05.01.19 at 2:33 pm }

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!

28 Kyle S { 05.01.19 at 1:01 pm }

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!

29 Cynthia Lovell { 05.01.19 at 12:46 pm }

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.

30 Marcy Walsh { 05.01.19 at 12:27 pm }

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!

31 Jamie { 05.01.19 at 11:38 am }

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.

32 Heather Boyd { 05.01.19 at 11:32 am }

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

33 Beth Riggs { 05.01.19 at 11:23 am }

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!

34 Pam { 05.01.19 at 11:08 am }

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

35 Denise { 05.01.19 at 11:08 am }

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!!

36 Ariel { 05.01.19 at 9:42 am }

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!

37 Susan Sherwin { 05.01.19 at 9:25 am }

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.

38 Lily Willow { 05.01.19 at 9:10 am }

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

39 Connie Hoffman { 05.01.19 at 9:00 am }

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

40 Michelle P { 05.01.19 at 8:54 am }

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

41 Lauri Major { 05.01.19 at 8:11 am }

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.

42 Matt F { 05.01.19 at 8:06 am }

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. 🙂

43 Tina Prihar { 05.01.19 at 7:38 am }

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. 🙂

44 Gail Nemetz { 05.01.19 at 7:32 am }

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!

45 Janine Carlson { 05.01.19 at 7:17 am }

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.

46 Gershon Ferency { 05.01.19 at 7:04 am }

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.

47 Shirley J Hill House { 05.01.19 at 7:01 am }

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.

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