Ip dip

Ip dip is a rhythmic rhyming game with many variations, the purpose of which is to select an individual from a group, for instance to choose the starting player of a game. It has been commonly used in British playgrounds for many years.

The speaker of the rhyme points to a different person in order as each stressed syllable is spoken; the person pointed to as the final syllable is spoken is thereby elected.

The aim is to delay and distract from counting the syllables or otherwise fixing the result; the rhyme should be so long that the (youthful) speaker loses count and cannot predict the chosen person. Perhaps this unpredictability is the reason that there are so many variations, including the practice of stringing variations together — which may be considered cheating.


Ip dip, sky blue. / Who's it? Not you. / Not because you're dirty, / Not because you're clean, / My mother says you're the fairy queen.

Ip dip dip / My blue ship / Sailing on the water / Like a cup and saucer.

Ippa dippa dation, / My operation, / How many people are waiting at the station? (The person pointed at gives a number - e.g. 4, and the speaker continues) The one who lands on number 4 will surely not be it. 1, 2, 3, 4. (The speaker then repeats the rhyme with the remaining people, continuing until only one remains)

Ip dip, apple pip / You are not 'it'! (Repeated until only one person,'it', remains)

Ip dip doo, / The cat's got 'flu, / The dog's got chicken pox, / And so have you.

Ip dip do / The cat's got the flu / The monkey's got the chicken-pox / So out goes you / Not because you're dirty / Not because you're clean / My mum says you're out of the football team.

Ip dip doo / Geoffrey lives in the zoo/ Brittney is a chimpanzee / Someone is very crazy / So out goes you!

Ip dip, sky blue / Nanny sitting on the loo / Singing songs / Dropping bombs / Out goes you.

Ip Dip Do, Mums on the loo , Dad goes crazy out goes you.

Up a ladder down a ladder In dictation how many pussycats went to the station? Close your eyes and think (who ever is pointed at picks a number - eg 4) 1 2 3 4 That means you are it.

Ip dip doo, / Doggie did a poo, / Chicken did another one, / So out goes you.

Scatological versions:
Ip dip doo, / Doggie did a poo, / Cat did a wee wee, / Out goes you.

In popular culture

In the British sci-fi/comedy TV series Red Dwarf, the character David Lister uses a sci-fi inspired version to determine which version of the hologrammatic Arnold Rimmer should be deleted when the two cannot get along. The version of Rimmer who was determined to be deleted quipped "I've been Ippy Dippy'd to death!" This version is as follows: Ippy Dippy / My space shippy / On a course so true / Past Neptune and Pluto's moon / The one I choose is you

See also

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