Ip, Dip, Dog Shit in Early Medieval Ireland

Image: Banalities / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

When I was a child, we had a version of the ‘ip dip rhyme‘ in the school playground. Whenever we needed to divide into groups or isolate someone as the starting ‘it’ for a particular game, we’d gather in a circle with one foot forward. Our version (1980s Ireland) involved someone going around counting each foot whist chanting ‘Ip dip, dog shit, out goes smelly’. Whichever foot was landed on for ‘smelly’ was out, and the counting began again, usually in the opposite direction. It would go on until the last person with a foot in – was ‘(sh)it’.

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