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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0946  Thursday, 26 April 2001

[1]     From:   Tony Burton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 11:25:55 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"

[2]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 10:12:01 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"

[3]     From:   Richard O. Shaw <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 07:48:43 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 11:25:55 -0400
Subject: 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"

According to Ion and Peter Opie's "The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery
Rhymes" (1951) at page 93, bo-peep goes back to at least 1364, was
mentioned by Herrick in 1646, and defined by Johnson in 1755 as "The act
of looking out and then drawing back as if frightened, or with the
purpose to fright some other."  There is a somewhat fuller discussion
than this.

Tony B

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 10:12:01 -0700
Subject: 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"

>I'd be grateful if anyone could point me toward a source that explains
>the Renaissance game of bo-peep.  Its modern counterpart is
>"peek-a-boo," but the two games are somewhat different.  I do have a
>19th-century source: T.S. Thiselton-Dyer, _Folk-Lore of Shakespeare_
>(New York: Harper's,  1884):  pp. 399-400.  But it is in French.  A more
>modern, English source would be helpful.
>Ed Taft

"The Annotated Mother Goose" with notes by William S. Baring-Gould and
Ceil Baring-Gould, pb, Meridian Books, 1967, p. 96, has a couple of
paragraphs on the game. There is probably an earlier hardback edition in
most libraries. It seems to have been a form of "peek-a-boo," where the
mother or nurse hides from the child and then reveals herself suddenly.

Stephanie Hughes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard O. Shaw <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 07:48:43 -0400
Subject: 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0934 The Renaissance Game of "Bo-peep"

#65
Bo-peep, Little Bo-peep,
Now's the time for hide and seek.

JOH (1849) give these as the words repeated by children when playing
bo-peep. Whether the game was once a form of hide-and-seek, or never
more than a baby amusement of covering the head and peeping out, as the
early quotations suggest, is uncertain. Johnson (1755) defined bo-peep
as "The act of looking out and then drawing back as if frightened, or
with the purpose to fright some other', and Herrick (1648) used it in
the same sense:

Her pretty feet
Like snailes did creep
     A little out, and then,
As if they started at Bo-Peep,
     Did soon draw in agen.

The earliest reference tot he game appears to be in 1364 when Alice
Causton had to 'play bo-pepe thorowe a pillory' forr giving short
measure of ale p.93. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes .Edited by
Iona and Peter Opie. Oxford University Press. 1951.

There is more on the version with the sheep that go to school, if that
is relevant to your quest.

Richard Shaw

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