Celtic Animals Celtic Animals

Jack The Giant-killer
Cornish Giants Folktale

Footnote For "Fee Fi Fo Fum"

Opie offers these variations:

Fee, fau, fum,
I smell the blood of an English man,
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread.

Opie cites other examples:

Fee fau fum,
I smell the blood of an earthly man;
Let him be alive or be dead,
Off goes his head.


Fe, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman;
If he have any liver and lights
I'll have them for my supper tonight.

Opie also quotes a Scottish giant referred to in 1528 named Red Etin, who had 'thre heydis,' and invariably entered with these 'welcoming words':

Snouk but and snouk ben,
I find the smell of an earthly man;
Be he living or be he dead,
His heart this night will kitchen my bread.