La vache qui tache

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La vache qui tache (English: "the cow who stains") is a party game that originated in France. The only prop required is a cork with one end of which has been blackened by a candle flame.

Assign each player a number. Player one calls out "Je suis la vache qui tache sans taches numéro 1 et j'appelle la vache sans taches numéro X" ("I am the spotted cow with zero spots number 1, and I call the cow with zero spots number X"), where X is the number of any other player. When the game first starts no-one has any spots, so the number of spots is zero, or "sans tache". The next player, X, must immediately repeat the phrase, using his/her own number and another player for X ("I am the spotted cow with zero spots number X, and I call the cow with zero spots number Y"), where Y is the number of any other player. The game repeats this way until someone makes a mistake.

If a player makes a mistake, like mixing up the cow numbers, taking too long to respond, or calling the wrong number of spots, that player gets "spotted", using the blackened cork to make a big round black dot on his face. If a player gets one spot, then that player must say "I am the spotted cow with one spot..." and so on for the number of spots received.

Each mistake earns a player another spot, and both the player's number of spots and the number of spots of the player called must be taken into account every time a player is called. The game may continue indefinitely or end when someone gets a certain number of spots.[1]

A French idiom for being falling-down-drunk is "black faced" in reference to this game.

Ibble Dibble[edit]

Ibble Dibble or Ripple Tipple in Australasia is an English variant. It also involves marking people's faces with a blackened cork or a similar substance such as peanut butter.[2][3][4]

Ibble Dibble is similar, but the name of the person is used instead of a number. For example: "I am Ibble Dibble Kyle with no Ibble Dibbles calling Ibble Dibble Kate with one Ibble Dibble."[5] Another variant is referring to "spots," saying "I'm number one spot, I've got no spots, how many spots has number X spot got?".


In 2004 la vache qui tache was made into a commercial party game, distributed by Jeux F.K.[6]


  1. ^ "La vache qui tâche". Jeux a boire. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Ibble Dibble". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  3. ^ Curran, Josie (2011). Organised Fun for Grown-Ups. Pan Macmillan.
  4. ^ Martin Toseland, Simon Toseland (2012). 365 Family Games and Pastimes. Random House. p. 40.
  5. ^ "Perfectly silly party games". Seven (Sunday Telegraph). 14 Dec 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  6. ^ La vache qui tache ! (in French)