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Half Hannikin


   (Couples as many as will in a circle.)
   Holding hands, double into the center and back. Repeat.
   Side left and right with your partner.
   Arm right once around with your partner.
   Arm left one and a half times, so that you end up in a new spot.
   Take hand in a circle & begin again.

From John Fitzhugh Millar's 1985 book, Elizabethan Country Dances. (Thanks to Charlene Charette.) The original Playford is a longways dance. See

See an animation of this dance.

Half Hannikin

D M for all improper
Recreation from 2013 Jane Austen Ball in Rochester, NY

16 Up a double a back twice
 8 Sharp siding pass by the left and back by the right
 4 Turn your partner two hands around
 4 and move one place clockwise
   Find a new partner and start again

Tune: John Playford “Half Hannikin”

The title “Halfe Hannikin” is possibly a corruption of honig-huchen, or ‘sweet cake’, adopted into English along with other German and Dutch words in the 16th century. Alternatively, ‘Hannikin’ may possibly derive from honniken, used in Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday(1599, Act IV, sc. 5), used to mean a ‘stupid fellow’ or ‘needy fellow’

Graham Christian (2015) says “Hankin, Hannikin, Mamukin, Hanskin, and Hansken were all variants of a name of Dutch origin meaning “Little John” or “son of John” (Jo-hannes-kin), and in England it became a teasing name for a fool or clown, sometimesas “Hankin Booby”.” He concludes that “Hankin [Hannikin] Booby” may have been the name of the dance or tune or both, and believes the first word of the title ('halfe') is a form of “huff”, which at that time meant to swagger. Thus the instead of a half- of something, the complete title meant to 'swagger like a buffoon', fitting with the dance which is “an unusal single mixer throwing all the dancers into one merry brew together” [Christian, A Playford Assembly, 2015, p. 43].

ins_half_hannikin.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/21 02:35 by mar4uscha