Definition of Oranges and Lemons from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Oranges and Lemons

; NAmE
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an old English children's song about the sounds of church bells in various parts of London. It is often part of a game that young children play: two of them form an arch with their arms and the rest take turns to run under the arch until one of them is caught when the arch falls at the end of the song. A similar game is played with London Bridge is Falling Down. see also nursery rhyme
'Oranges and Lemons'say the bells of St Clements.'You owe me five farthings'say the bells of St Martins.'When will you pay me?’say the bells of Old Bailey.'When I grow rich'say the bells of Shoreditch.'When will that be?’say the bells of Stepney.'I do not know'says the great bell at Bow.Here comes a candle to light you to bed.Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.Chip, chop, chip, chop; the last man's DEAD!