olly olly oxen free


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olly olly oxen free

A phrase used to indicate that it is OK to come home or to a home base. It is commonly used in children's games. All the kids ran back to the starting point when Brian yelled, "Olly olly oxen free!"
See also: free, olly, oxen

All-y all-y oxen free!

It's safe to return home. This hide-and-seek and kick-the-can game catchphrase assures players that they can return to the starting point without penalty. Generations of mothers summoned children home to supper by standing on the porch and yelling the phrase.
See also: oxen
References in periodicals archive ?
Perhaps someday, years from now, my children will come across it and remember back to that humid evening, the wintry tingle of ice cream cold against the tongue, the fireflies just beginning to illuminate the yard, the soft voices of the adults drifting across the lawn, the quiet ruptured by the occasional "Olly olly oxen free." They will recall, as I do now, us arranged on the porch, eating our $200-a-gallon ice cream like the royalty we were for one magical evening.
In Godreau's world, vocals edge towards the helium-enabled end of the spectrum, arrangements wobble between sparse and overblown and titles like Olly Olly Oxen Free are perfectly acceptable.