LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – It’s the debate being had around the world this morning, did you say “rabbit rabbit” or “rabbit rabbit rabbit” this morning? And should you be saying it?
On Wednesday morning’s Good Day Las Vegas, Heather Mills was talking with CBS Mornings anchor Vlad Duthiers about the day’s news and ended by saying to him, “rabbit rabbit.”
Duthiers said he had never heard of this before today, which off camera sparked a debate between the Good Day Las Vegas team.
Within a few minutes Heather and – reluctantly – Nate Tannenbaum said they had heard of it while neither John Langeler or Sherry Swensk had ever come across it.
For those of you, like this writer, who has never heard of it here’s a little background.
To explain it simply, you would say “rabbit rabbit rabbit” upon waking on the first day of each month to bring you good luck or fortune.
Language expert Martha Barnette told NPR variations of the saying can be found dating back 2,000 years and is meant to ensure good luck for a month. “But it’s only in the early 1900s that we see written references to this superstition,” Barnette said.
“Some people say rabbit, rabbit,” Barnette said. “In the U.K., it’s quite common to say ‘white rabbits.’ Gilda Radner was someone who was known to say ‘bunny, bunny’ on the first day of the month; to ensure, as she put it, laughter, love and peace.”
There is also a story that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt carried a rabbit’s foot during the 1932 election and also said rabbit, rabbit at the beginning of every month.
Barnette added that the author, Simon Winchester said ‘white rabbits’ every month for 696 months (58 years) before he forgot to say white rabbits one day.
However, the superstition has your back if you forget to say it. If you forget to say it at the beginning fo the day you can “say black rabbit right before you can go to sleep; or you can say tibbar, tibbar.” That’s rabbit spelled backwards.
Even the Farmers’ Almanac has some history on the saying. It claims during World War II, British fighter pilots were known to say “white rabbits” for luck every day.
We could all use a little good luck these days, so let’s all say it together, “Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit.”