Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Olly Olly Oxen Free!

An invitation to everyone visiting; lurker or regular commenter - please leave a comment. I would love to meet everyone and visit your blogs (if you have one).

And now, a little enlightenment on the term Olly Olly Oxen Free from Wikipedia.

Olly Olly Oxen Free
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Olly olly oxen free is a phrase used in children's games, which is generally used to indicate that people who are hiding (in a game of Hide and seek, for example) can safely come out into the open.
The exact origin of the phrase is unknown, but etymologists suspect it is a childish corruption of a phrase that would have made more sense in the Hide-and-seek context; such as "all ye, all ye, oxen free!", "all in free", "out’s in free", "all set free", "All ye all ye outs in free", or "All the, all the outs in free"; or possibly a corruption of the German "Alle, alle auch sind frei", (literally, "Everyone, everyone also is free").

This ends today's educational snippet.


  1. Great post!! What a neat idea..I've always wondered what Olly Olly Oxen Free meant...

  2. Anonymous3:02 PM

    I have never heard that term before. What a lovely idea for a post.
    You left a comment asking what "mickey taking" well you could also say "taking the mick" it means mocking/make fun of/pulling your leg.

    I love that we all have very different sayings for very familiar things

  3. I've never even heard that.

  4. I used to say it all the time as a kid when we played various games like hide-and-seek but never really thought about what it meant until now. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Man and I was look for Oil of Olay for Oxen! :) Im so funny

  6. Very interesting, but surely Oxen is a term for the Ox...like cows...maybe as if to say, you can come out now, no cows around or bulls.
    I've added you to my bloglines after you commented on something I made...but sometimes I want to comment and the option isn't avilable...

  7. Wikipedia.org is my favorite online encyclopedia sites. They have it all.

  8. Anonymous11:34 AM

    I like this idea! I didn't know what that meant. Thanks for enlightening me.

  9. Wikipedia rules. This is my first trip here. I found you from the everyday mom's site - which I also just found. My blog is mommy tracks www.mommytracks.blogspot.com I'm not crafty. And my blog's not too cute. But we're working on it!

  10. Great Post!! That brought back so many memories of Hide and Seek and Kick the Can. We actually said Olly Olly Oxen Free!! Wow did I just tell you how old I was??

  11. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Ok, well since you went to the trouble of looking up Olly Olly Oxen Free, here I am... brand new lurker.

  12. Kelly7:12 AM

    Thanks for the etymology lesson! Word origins are one of my favorite things! (Guess you could call me a word geek!) Funny thing is, I knew the "Domestic Goddess" when she was only a "Goddess in Training," we were learning how to type on actual TYPEWRITERS (good ole' Coach Rabb) and the internet was only a dream! Fun to lurk here whenever I get the time (which isn't very often).

    Kelly in New Mexico


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