This friend explains that “ICUP” is a “word” that children would ask each other. And she has heard her classmates from elementary school ask each other this question, she has been asked this as well. The joke of asking someone to “spell ICUP” is that it phonetically sounds like “I see you pee”. She interprets this as a joke that mainly boys try to trick each other with or to trick girls. She believes it does not have much meaning other than to be cheeky and to potentially embarrass someone.


The phrase above is a prank and a joke and I also interpret it as children’s folklore with “potty humor”, which is quite common in children’s folklore and humor with obscenity. Jay Mechling states that children’s play can be cruel and this prank overall seems harmless. Although I see it possibly turning into teasing if the joke is not understood by the one being pranked. But as a verbal prank, someone may find it funny and tell the joke themselves and it continues to spread. The phrase is childish, but creative which is most likely why it continues to be told.