Home » Segments » All Out Are In Free!

All Out Are In Free!

Play episode

Kylie Ryan, an elementary-school teacher in Seattle, Washington, remembers that when she played hide-and-seek as a child, the call for everyone to come in was alle alle oxen free. Are there other versions? Yes, and because these sayings were not codified and instead passed from child to child, there are a multitude of versions. The Dictionary of American Regional English lists at least 30, including alle alle outs in free, allsie allsie in free, allee allee oops in free, allie allie opes in free, and all-ee all-ee olson free. In Shakespeare’s time, the same game was called all hid. Listen for all that, plus the big “Hello!” from Ms. Ryan’s class. We’ve also talked about this children’s expression in 2014 and even earlier in 2008. This is part of a complete episode.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Good Leather, Well Put Together

Laura in San Antonio, Texas, says her handsome father describes himself as a fine piece of leather, well put together. This phrase is probably a reference to a fine leather shoe and the artistry it takes to put it together. For years, shoe companies...