Doggerel / Bloggerel


Doggerel / Bloggerel



Dog, man’s (and presumably woman’s) best friend, shows up in the word doggerel, wagging its tail full of trivial verse. The word ends in –erel, which indicates the diminutive, but unfortunately, a negative diminutive. You’re left with a sorry little puppy of a poem, the runt of the litter, or in this case, the runt of the letters.


Doggerel is a legitimate surname, but it’s unknown (at least to me) which came first – the man or the rhyme. Chaucer uses it as an adjective in his Canterbury Tales as early as 1400, but where did he get it? Perhaps a particularly clumsy wordsmith was anointed with the name, and it stuck like a burr on a cur. Or perhaps someone with the name Doggerel couldn’t help but mark his rhymes with his name, in the same way dogs can’t help but mark fire hydrants and telephone poles with their scent. The origin is buried like a bone somewhere in history’s backyard. I have been unable to dig it up.


So what happens when doggerel and blog meet? You have bloggerel.


In recent months I have recited a little couplet to my grandchild who has what one may call “potty issues.” Small children often suffer when the physical demands of the body meet the appliances created to meet those demands. Just as the hero Ulysses, on his long journey home, had to pass through the Strait of Messina and face Charybdis, the awful whirlpool that swallowed men and ships whole; small children, on their way to bladder relief, have to sit atop the toilet, that violent vortex capable of swallowing Lego men and ships whole. Experiences on automatic flush toilets can terrorize them for years.


Apparently at night, while that couplet was wandering around in my brain, it went out for drinks, met some rhymes, and decided to hang out together. They presented themselves to me the other morning when I awoke, one for each gender.



Tinkle, Tinkle (for girls)


Tinkle, tinkle in the pot

Place your hiney on the spot.


Flush the toilet once you wipe,

Wash your hands; turn off the light.


Tinkle, tinkle in the pot

Bladder’s full, now it’s not.



Tinkle, Tinkle (for boys)


Tinkle, tinkle in the pot

Take your aim and hit the spot.


Lift the lid; then put it down

Lids left up make mommies frown.


Tinkle, tinkle in the pot

Bladder’s full, now it’s not.



Now I’m off to search to see if there are any Doggerels who have left their markings on my family tree.


14 thoughts on “Doggerel / Bloggerel

  1. I sure hope that little couplet doesn’t get stuck in my head. Although cute, and even quite clever, it’s hardly what I want to get caught singing to myself while standing in line at the grocery store. Oh, great. Now I’m SURE to end up sing-songing it out loud at some inopportune time. Thanks bunches. You’re a pal. And thanks for the smile. 🙂

  2. I like these. Can’t really understand why leaving the lid up would make Mommy frown, though. It seems to me that Mommy should be satisfied if they just get it into the pot.

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