Back in the Summer of Love ('67) when I was 5 years old, I learned a playground game in which we used to -

'Run-to-London-and-back!' - Meaning to run towards and around the person giving the command - 'Do-the-squashed-tomato!' - Meaning to run, with arms folded, at the person giving the command and - 'Hipplecrip!' - Meaning to walk, heel-to-toe, like one does on the gym beam, towards the person giving the command.

I cannot remember the point of the game and my sister, who is 22 months younger, does not remember this game at all, even though we attended the same primary school. I have used the word all my life and, I guess, folks have never queried the word because I have synchronised using the word with doing the action.

Recently however, myself and my 4 year old nephew - he was bored of sitting in the shopping trolley - decided that it'd be fun to run about, arms out, singing 'Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines' with some obvious - action-to-lyric choreography - and at one point we did the hipplecrip. We were, of course, told off by 'she who knows better', Emotion: smile and several days later, having "www'd" the word, I was asked by 'she who knows better' - "What does hipplecrip mean?"

Am I going mad? Please say that someone else out there in "wubble-you-land" has recollections of the word, hipplecrip.

Thank you, Mark
Sadly can't help with the word, but I remember the game (from school in the 80s). What you describe, we called 'pigeon step'. To move your foot only half the length of your other food (instead of heel to toe) was 'fairy step'. And 'squashed tomato' was to jump as far as possible on 2 feet. I knew the game as 'Please mother may I?' because like Simon Says, after you were told to move by the caller, you had to ask that question, or back to the beginning!
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I've searched all my usual sources for obscure vocabulary items and have found nothing about hipplecrip. Sorry!
Thank you for your feedback. I don't remember what we called the game, though I do recall myself doing the jumping with both feet. Your feedback led me to visit - Mother May I - on Wikipedia and doing so unlocked the memory that our playground did a mix of - kiss chase and chain tag - which we called, CRABLOCKER. I remember we boys thought the name of the game needed to be updated to a less girly name and so we invented a variant of the word - Grablogger - from a Thunderbirds episode we had all seen.

Seems it is the nature of Primary School playgrounds to invent transitory words to communicate their needs. At least I now know I am not going mad or misremembering my childhood sanity. Perhaps we thought, with that innocent cruelty that children have, that doing the hipplecrip was reminiscent of someone with a crippled hip. Who knows?

I like your photo idea. I am fairly new to e-mail and have not yet posted a photo. I shall experiment with photo FX - saturation and sepia - see if I can't come up with something too.

Yes I remember - I was nearly doing them in the snow today so thought I'd look it up & you're the only post I found. I remember playing a similar game in the early 70's but like you can't remember the details or the point but I think it may have been called Grandma Says - one extra movement I remember is doing the Spotty Dog.

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Hi! to you too

So you too have actually lived a life with the word - hipplecrip. There are so few of us! Do you think they'll have us shot!

It is such an odd word! JK Rowling should title her next book - Hipplecrip - That might get it on the map!

I'm from Clay Cross, Derbyshire. If that's any help with the geographic dissemination of the word ?

I don't invent words, so where does - hipplecrip - come from? We definitely do seem to be "of the few"

I do know I come up with phrases that encapsulate ideas, like - sing your smile - so you'll be able to imagine why I wonder why the word - hipplecrip - has been pigeon stepping its way thru my vocabulary for 40 years

I guess by now it'd be too easy for someone to say - ' Oh yeah, I know that word, it's from Edward Lear.'

Thank you for your reply, Marie

Brilliant image! Hipplecripping thru the foot deep snow! ... That is if I am allowed to 'ing' it. We might be guilty of terrorism, of a secret word

Sing Your Smile, Mark
Apologies if you're no longer interested in this as I cant see when this was written date wise. Today is June 20th 2013. I was just having a heated debate with my parents & husband about the reality of the word 'hipplecrip'. I was basically laughed out of town. So I googled. And found your thread. So for interests sake here is how I know the word:
I grew up in Buxton, Derbyshire and I remember being told to go and measure the length & width of my school hall in 'hipplecrips'. It was a regularly used form of measurement as I recall during my time at Buxton Infant School. I never heard the word since the early 1980s when I was there. I've used the word myself for fun but no one ever takes me seriously. Poor me....
It really is rediculous thinking back that we measured that way.Even 5yr olds have different sized hipplecrips to eachother. I wonder who marked the results!
Anyway I will ensure I pass on hipplecrips to my little boys now I think about it and they can sit about and 'remember when' with their buddies (or disbelieving families)! in years to come.
When you were a child, did you live in Derbyshire?

Look here. http://tuckshopgardener.blogspot.ca/2013/02/hipplecrips-towards-future.html
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