One Mississippi

That’s the name of a folk song sung by Steve Seskin*. The chorus goes:

The seconds turn to minutes
The minutes into hours
The hours into long, lonely days
This waitin’ on you, darlin’
Is takin’ all my will power
I keep countin’ all the moments you’re away
One Mississippi, two Mississippi
Without you, girl, I’m blue Mississippi.

It struck me that people who don’t live in the U.S. probably don’t use ‘Mississippi’ to count the passing of seconds. The only other placeholder I could think of was ‘one hundred’. But there are lots! What’s strange is that some have two syllables, some have three, some have four, and some have five, so surely they’re not all equally accurate…

I wonder what words people use in other languages?

*I met Steve Seskin while I was on Qwest West in 1998.