Friday, August 15, 2014

Ain Tain Tether Fether

Q: Can you help me? My great grandmother was born in Missouri. My father had 3 brothers and 4 sisters and all were taught this count by their grandmother. They all said it the same.  I do not know the accurate spelling but can only spell as how it sounds. They said that she was Indian. However have not found her or family on any roll. The count sounds like this: Ain, Tain, Tether, Fether, Fip, Sata, Rata, Poe, Aindic, Taindic, Featherdic, Yaya, Koo

There were 20 numbers but that is all I can remember.  Does this sound like any Indian count to you?  OR,,,is this Gaelic? If you could enlighten me on this or guide me to where I could find out more I would greatly appreciate it.  This has been a puzzle in our family for almost 100 years. 

AYep, that's Gaelic (Celtic to be more precise!) It's an old sheep-counting rhyme from England; here are some websites about it:

Hope that helps, have a good weekend!
Native Languages of the Americas

Further reading:
Native American numbers
Indian counting rhyme