phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Ring around the roses

Posted by Randy on August 12, 2003

In Reply to: Ring around the roses posted by richard on August 10, 2003

Its about the Bubonic plague, alot of nursery rhymes have strange origins:

"Ring around the rosie"
A plague buboe appears on someone's cheek

"A pocket full of posies"
A popular way of fending off the plague
"Atischoo, atischoo"
Sneezing was an early sign of plague infection or "Ashes, ashes"
The bodies of plague victims were cremated [also not true], or a reference to the Burial of the Dead ("Ashes to ashes, dust to dust")
or "Husha, husha"
Trickier to interpret: usually "be quiet, he's about to die, or don't tell anyone you have it because of how you'll be treated"
"We all fall down" (um, dying)

See: the meaning and origin of the phrase "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust".