Let me get the thread started off right: It's "Little *Rabbit* Foo-Foo"!
The original poster was right, you degenerate. It's "Little Bunny Foo
Foo" and you know it.
"Rabbit Foo-Foo." Rabbit, rabbit, RABBIT!
I grew up in Brooklyn, Harry, so I know the truth.
There are definitely two separate literary traditions at work here.
According to the OED2, the earliest reference for Bunny/Rabbit Foo
Foo is Chaucer's _The Canterbury Tales_, "The Knight's Tale:"
"And in the grove, at tyme and place yset,
This bunnie Fewfew and this field maus be met.
To chaungen gan the colour in hir face;"
The next reference is from Shakespeare, in a sonnet believed
to have been written in 1609 (about the time he was hacking the
"Clear wells spring not, sweet birds sing not,
Green plants bring not forth their dye.
Herd stands weeping, flocks all sleeping,
Nymphs back peeping fearfully,
For Rabbitt Foofoo hath killed a mouse."
H.L. Mencken's _History of the American Language_, however
cites a 1623 manuscript from the Plymouth colony that claims
John Alden sang a "lullabye about Bunnie Foofoo" to his
From here, the trail disappears for several centuries. The OED2
cites a 1910 draft manuscript by B. Potter titled "Peter, Mopsy,
Flopsy, and Foo-Foo Rabbit."
Back on this side of the pond, the OED2 cites a 1925 letter by
Zelda Fitzgerald records that "Scott is quite upset because the
publisher elided a poem about Bunny Foo-Foo from _This Side of
Paradise_. Scott believed it to be essential to the narrative."
In the same year, Ernest Hemingway's journal records on 25 June
(cited in Random House Hist. Dic of Amer. Slang): "Had a long
argument with Joyce and Stein today. He recited some doggerel
about Little Rabbit Foo-Foo. Gertrude and I recalled it as
Bunny Foo-Foo. Became quite heated, and Joyce stiffed us by
leaving without paying the check. Bastard."
The tentative conclusion must be that "Bunny" is the older,
but changed to "Rabbit" quite early on in Britain. In America,
the older form seems to have been preserved. So Americans that
use Rabbit Foo-Foo are following the British tradition.