In Out

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Fiddle Faddle Spit Spot Pish Posh Flim Flam Clickety Clack
Mish Mash Sing Sung Knick Knack Riff Raff Dilly Dally Kit Kat
Tittle Tattle Shilly Shally Splish Splash Zig Zag Flip Flop Pitter Patter
Hip Hop Criss Cross Chit Chat Tip Top Itty Bitty Wishy Washy

A journalist in the USA remarked on these pairings that in each case the first of the pair was built around the letter ‘i’.

He thought the reason was this sound required less articulation and so was preferred.

I am not sure that makes sense even in its own terms. After all, one could argue with the same logic that the ‘lazy’ sound would be kept to the end – resulting in patter pitter.

I think there is a more fundamental reason in these pairings, namely that one has to breathe in before breathing out.

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