Can Someone Help with a Ukrainian Rhyme That Sounds Like, “Pitchoo Pitchoo Bopkoo”?

Suzy wrote…

I wonder if anyone can help me find the meaning to this silly rhyme. I was a little kid when my grandmother used to do this thing with my head in her hands and it phonetically sounded like this (I don’t speak or understand Ukrainian) :

Pitchoo Pitchoo bopkoo
Sedjoonella bobkoo
shi shoolapitch, shi shoolapitch, shi shoolapitch

Many thanks, Suzy

If someone can also send the Ukrainian text, that would be great! If anyone can help in any way, please comment below, or email me.



This article was posted on Sunday, July 6th, 2008 at 12:53 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Finger Plays, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, Russia, Ukraine, Ukrainian. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

21 Responses to “Can Someone Help with a Ukrainian Rhyme That Sounds Like, “Pitchoo Pitchoo Bopkoo”?”

  1. Tanya Says:

    Hi, Lisa!

    I am from Ukraine, but unfortunately I don’t know the words of this song. It must be an old slavian folk song. It means
    to bake a rom cake (‘babcka’ is a kind of a cake)
    an edible cake
    go in to the stove (there is a sound immitation of this process)

    That’s all. The rest 2 lines are hard to understand. Phonetically they have nothing common with Ukrainian;)
    My whole family tried to decode the words of this song.
    Besides, was your granny from Ukraine?

    P.S. Don’t you khow the websites, where I could find texts of Enya’s songs. I like them a lot and try to sing them to my doughter. I will be very grateful.

  2. caroline Juric Says:

    Dear Suzy through Lisa

    This is a fun site. I check it out periodically.

    My cultural group is “Russian”, but comprized of people with many different accents and dialects, and traditions (one of my great grandmothers was from Finnland, my great grandfather from Georgia, another was a Cossack) so we give allowance for these variations. Its fun.

    This song could be….. Baking, Baking a Bapka (I think a round loaf sweet bread), I burnt the Bapka, Sheesh!, (Oolapitch) Grab it (or seize it with the nonsense idea of trading your head for the sweet loaf or cake). … good thing you thot it was all fun!

    That’s my take on this.

    Hope this helps….Caroline

  3. Tanya Says:

    Dear Suzy,

    this is probably really an old slavic version of this song….

  4. Suzy Says:

    Many thanks Tanya and Caroline. That helps somewhat. Yes my grandmother was from the Ukraine. Everyone on that side of the family is gone now, so my memory of that verse is all I have.

  5. Rosalie Says:

    Did you get the answer you were asking for? I am Ukrainian and can help. I don’t want to repeat myself, however, if you’ve got the answers.

  6. Connie Says:

    I don’t know your song. But I am looking for an old poem my kids Grandmother used to say, it’s Slavic and sounds like:

    Studda Bubba, Rumpetee
    polenta cookin poperty,
    Oi oi Mommy say…..

  7. Inna Says:

    Hi!!! I’m Ukrainian and I know this silly children’s song. My grendmother and mom was singing this song to me when I was a little kid too.

    “Пічу, пічу бабку,
    Кладу на лопатку,
    Шусь у піч, шусь у піч!”

    “Pichu pichu babku,
    Kladu na lopatku,
    Shys u pich, shys u pich!”

    The meaning of this song is:
    “I’m baking baking a cake,
    I put it on a shovel,
    And put in in the stove (shys u pich – it is like a sound – “shys” in in stove)”

  8. Gwen Ochoa Says:

    I am looking for an old Ukrainian rhyme that my Dad use to say which sounds like Ye Je Yej Ye Je Bubo….Its about a bug or spider climbing up the arm and onto the neck while he would tickle my neck. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Would like the correct spelling and words.

  9. Gwen Ochoa Says:

    My Baba would also say a rhyme about a little old man and a little old woman dancing….does this sound familiar to anyone?

  10. Walter Rabchuk Says:

    I’m looking for a similar rhyme my grandmother sang while bouncing us on her knee, which sounded like:
    “Yedgee, yedgee, pon pon; notscoom, neatscoom, saun, saun” (sorry for the phonetics)

    She always told us it was about a man riding through the forest. I have no clue, but would love to know the complete and/or correct version of that rhyme. Thanks.

  11. Corry Says:

    Hi Suzy, my Baba used to sing that same song to me too.
    I have searched for years to find out what it meant, but no luck.
    For the longest time I thought maybe it was something she just made up until I saw your post.

  12. olesya Says:

    To Gwen Ochoa:

    I say that rhyme to my kids all the time:

    lize rak chiborak,
    yak vkyse byde znak.

    crab (rak chiborak) is crawling (lize)
    when it bites, there will be a mark.

  13. Beth Says:

    Hi, I am looking for a Ukrainian nursery rhyme my grandmother use to say to me. She would tickle her way up my arm and end at my neck. The rhyme was something about a little bug and from what I remember sounded like: lizzy bobo lizzy bobo nemacati musitati. The spelling is horrendous!! I’m sorry.

  14. Lisa Says:

    Here’s another question we were sent (if anyone can help with this rhyme, please comment below):

    Hello Lisa,

    I saw you had previously managed to help someone looking for more information on a Ukrainian Rhyme and I have a simular problem. My grandfather was from the Ukraine and taught me a ryhme as a kid but as memory fades and my Grandfather is sadly no longer with us I was wondering if anyone might know of a ryhme that sounds simular to: kr-ar kr-ar wool-en-ar de-stri-me-ta wa-lin-ar, nar poor rog-ies to their la, I-d mit der pu de skared, al-la kal-al al-a skared, tum-bul-za-la, tum-bul-za-la, tum-bul-za-la, fiz-be wal-la

    I know I have probably not done the best job correctly sounding everything. The last part is very rooted in my head as is the first little bit. Also if it helps my grandfather would take one of my hands and count off on it with this rhyme a bit like inny, meany, miney, mo but when a finger was selected on fizbewala he would make me put that finger down. He’d do this till one was left standing.

    Thank you very much for your time,

  15. Kim Says:

    My Grandmother did the same thing, and she was trying to teach me the words today. I do not speak Ukrianian, and she cannot spell or write, so it was challenging. The song is as Inna said, but we have an additional line.
    English phonetics the way grandma pauses:
    Pitchoo pitchoo bab koo (forming the loaf, tossing the kids head side to side)
    Klaudu nullif pob koo (putting the bread on the board or in the cupboard to rise, tossing kids head side to side still)
    Vee pra vichka, du la wichka (taking the bread from the cupboard and onto the paddle for the oven, kids head is still)
    Shush, shush, shush (bread into the oven, kids head forward and backwards)

    I wish i had a better phonetic translation, but it is an improvement over what we have been saying for the last decade!

  16. Lisa Says:

    Kim… If you’d like to record your grandmother reciting it, we can try to get you the correct words.

  17. Kim Says:

    I will try! That would be awesome, everyone in our family does a bad job of it right now. We actually sing for fun in English:
    Pitchoo pitchoo pab koo
    Watermelon’s got you.
    If the train goes off the track,
    Choo choo choo.

    What email address should i send the recording to?

  18. Lisa Says:

    That’s a fun version Kim!

    My email address is


  19. Lisa Says:

    Laura wrote:

    Hi Lisa!

    I stumbled across your blog trying to find a poem my grandfather taught me about a kitten many years ago. Do you perhaps remember a poem that went something like this (sorry for my phoenetic spelling!)

    Meow Meow Meow I a mish ka nesc pi mauo I a hochu molochka ils velico horochka.

    Appreciate your help!

  20. Laura Says:


  21. Elizabeth Worthy Says:

    I am looking for two actually. One was about a mother bird ripping the little ones head off and throwing it to the wind. The other about a bug. I think it translated to “little bug little bug , where is your home… Phonetically it sounded like
    Zhu-ku zhu-ku, dets-ve-dom , nat-a roshi pet-em num.

Leave a Reply