“What Are Little Boys Made Of?” is a nursery rhyme dating back to the 19th century whose lyrics are subject to controversial interpretations.

Some people claim that the nursery rhyme has a sexist tonality towards boys and girls alike.

There is also some confusion regarding the meaning of the words “snips and snails”. In the older versions instead of “snips and snails” frogs, snakes or slugs were used instead as synonyms for boys.

A more tolerant interpretation suggests that in fact “snips and snails” derived from “snips of snails” and its meaning would be “bits of snails”. They also suggest that girls love to be called “Sugar and spice and all things nice!”

“What Are Little Boys Made Of?” Lyrics

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails
And puppy-dogs’ tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.

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