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Jack Be Nimble

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Jack Be Nimble
Jack Be Nimble 2 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546
Illustration by William Wallace Denslow from Denslow’s Mother Goose, 1901.

Real Name


First Appearance

“Jack Be Nimble” (nursery rhyme) (1800s)

Original Publisher

English Nursery Rhyme

Created by



Jack Be Nimble is an English language nursery rhyme.

The most common version of the rhyme is:

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over
The candlestick.

Origin and Meaning

Jumping candlesticks was a form of fortune telling and a sport. Good luck was said to be signalled by clearing a candle without extinguishing the flame.


The nursery rhyme first appeared in print in 1844. In the 1901 book Denslow’s Mother Goose, illustrator William Wallace Denslow portrayed Jack as a dog.


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