The Origin of Pinch Punch …with a splash of White Rabbits
Who doesn’t ‘Pinch Punch First of the Month’? It’s one of my favourite things to do at 8am on the first of every month! Obviously, say no returns otherwise they can ‘Slap/Punch, Kick for being so quick!’. In the West Country, you can also say ‘A flick and a kick for being so quick’.
Pinch Punch isn’t the only superstitious thing us Brits say. ‘White Rabbits, White Rabbits’ is another one. It is thought if you say this before midday on the first of the month, then you will get good luck. These are the kind of things we are brought up on, but why? The phrases and pinches are common practice on the playground, but even when we grow up as well.
This has originated from Medieval times when people believed in witches. It was thought that salt made witches weak. So pinch was part of the pinching of the salt, punch was to banish the weakened witch for good. There are also rumours that George Washington met local Indian tribes on the first day of each month. At the meeting he would bring fruit punch and salt. So the punch of fruit and the pinch of salt became ‘pinch, punch on the first of the month’. The tradition as lived on – with pinching and punching your friends and family…
This one is rather tricky. It seems like it just popped up one day and people jumped on the bandwagon. White Rabbits was written in the book ‘Notes and Queries’ dating from 1909. In the book it reads “My two daughters are in the habit of saying ‘Rabbits!’ on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month”. It is also common belief that some RAF bomber aircrew during WW2 would say ‘White Rabbits’ in the morning to protect themselves. The exact origin of the rabbits remains a mystery! Suppose it’s a less violent way of bringing in the new month.
Obviously this is all superstition, but you will hear it everywhere! Wishing you all White Rabbits!