Olly olly oxen free


"Olly olly oxen free" is a catchphrase or truce term used in children's games such as Hide-and-seek, hide and seek, capture the flag, and kick the can to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game; that the position of the sides in a game has changed (as in which side is on the field or which side is at bat or "up" in baseball or kickball); or, alternatively, that the game is entirely over. The origin of the phrase is unknown. The ''Dictionary of American Regional English'' says the phrase may be derived from ''all ye, all ye outs in free'', ''all the outs in free'', or possibly ''”calling all the outs in free''”; in other words, all who are out may come in without penalty. Others speculate the phrase may be a corruption of a hypothetical and ungrammatical German phrase ''alle, alle, auch sind frei'' (all, all, also are free). A number of variations exist. "Ollyoxalls" is one such variant, said to be used in Portsmouth, England. Another variant is "Ollie Ollie in come free."

In popular culture

*Various songs are named "Olly olly oxen free" or a variant thereof, including songs by the Ted Weems orchestra (sung by a young Perry Como), Terry Scott Taylor (on the album ''Imaginarium: Songs from the Neverhood''), the metalcore band Sworn In (band), Sworn In, and Amanda Palmer (on the album ''Theatre Is Evil''). ''Olly Olly Oxen Free (film), Olly Olly Oxen Free'' is the name of a film starring Katharine Hepburn, while ''Oxenfree'' is a 2016 videogame produced by Night School Studio. *At the very end of Peter, Paul and Mary's recording of "It's Raining, It's Pouring, It's Raining", they speak the more straightforward version of the phrase: "All-ee, all-ee in free." *On Victoria Williams' 1994 album ''Loose (Victoria Williams album), Loose'', the song "Polish Your Shoes" features the line "Olly olly oxen free, but be careful." *In the ''Peanuts'' comic strip for October 3, 1955, Lucy hollers "Olee Olee Olsen Free-O!" Violet informs her chagrined friend that it should be "Ally ally out are in free!" *The punk band Authority Zero released an album called ''Ollie Ollie Oxen Free'' in 2021. *In the 1999 video game ''Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time'', Bugs Bunny calls out the phrase whenever the super-jump ability is activated. *In the 1948 film ''A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949 film), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court'', Hank Martin, transported back to the 6th century in Camelot and posing as a magician sorcerer to the king, uses the phrase as a pseudo magic charm or spell, to call back the light of the sun during the last moments of an eclipse, after having threatened to blot it out forever. *In the ''Seinfeld'' episode "The Pool Guy," Newman yells "oly oly oxen free!" before doing a cannonball and nearly drowning Ramon the pool guy. *In ''The Vampire Diaries'' season 3, episode 10 entitled "The New Deal (The Vampire Diaries), The New Deal", as Damon and Elena enter the building, Damon says, "Come on, Stef. Olly Olly Oxen Free." *The song "Downtown (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song), Downtown" on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's 2016 album ''This Unruly Mess I've Made'' features the phrase "I mean, water ski, ollie ollie oxen free". *In the 2020 Netflix miniseries ''The Haunting of Bly Manor'', the character Dani Clayton uses the phrase "Ollie Ollie oxen free" during a game of hide and seek with the children. *The phrase also appears in the video game franchise ''Halo (franchise), Halo'' as the SPARTAN-II supersoldiers' all-clear signal. *The phrase appears in the song "Bad Girls Club" by the band Falling In Reverse, released in 2013. *A variation of the phrase, "Olly Oxen Free", also appears in the song "The Dirt Bike", by artist Astronautalis, released in March, 2017. * The phrase appears in the chorus of the track "Capture The Flag" on Black Map's 2022 album "Melodoria".

See also

* Truce term


{{DEFAULTSORT:Olly Olly Oxen Free Children's street culture Catchphrases