Pip pip etymology

iainment Posts: 992
edited September 2009 in The bottom bracket
Word Origin & History


a slangy salutation current in Britain from c.1907-1923, said by Partridge to be in imitation of bicycle horn noise.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Crikey without knowing it I am using a cycling derived salutation.

Pip pip!
Old hippies don't die, they just lie low until the laughter stops and their time comes round again.
Joseph Gallivan


  • From the OED:

    1907 G. B. SHAW Major Barbara III. 292 Sarah (touching Lady Britomart's ribs with her finger tips and imitating a bicycle horn) Pip! pip!

    (Sarah appears to be using it as a childish 'out of the way please', like some people still say 'beep-beep', well my dad does)!

    The first recorded use as 'goodbye' is 1920:

    1920 P. G. WODEHOUSE Damsel in Distress x. 129 ‘Well, it's worth trying,’ said Reggie. ‘I'll give it a whirl. Toodleoo!’ ‘Good-bye.’ ‘Pip-pip!’ Reggie withdrew.