Written by Traditional
Form Nursery rhyme
“Jack Sprat” is an English language nursery rhyme.
The most common modern version of the rhyme is:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean.
The name Jack Sprat was used of people of small stature in the sixteenth century.[1 This rhyme was an English proverb from at least the mid-seventeenth century. It appeared in John Clarke’s collection of sayings in 1639 in the form:
Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane.
Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.
The saying entered the canon of English nursery rhymes when it was printed in Mother Goose’s Melody around 1765, but it may have been adopted for use with children much earlier.
This accidental image of Jack Sprat and his wife was displayed on a fire hydrant in Imperial Beach, California..
part of the Collection: Fire Hydrant Art.
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