Ollie, Ollie, Oxen
Contributed by Dave Furlong
"Ollie, ollie, oxen
free. Everyone, everyone come home free!"
How many times we yelled and heard this!! This phrase was usually shouted at the end of a game -- the end because the street lights had turned on and it was time for everyone to scoot on home.
Its root seems to be an English-Norman French-Dutch/German concoction: "Alles, Alles, in kommen frei"or "Oyez, oyez, in kommen frei!"
"Allez, allez" was a Norman addition to the English language, pronounced "ollie, ollie" and sometimes written "oyez, oyez" and meaning "everyone." "In kommen frei" was a phrase popular in Dutch/German New York and Pennsylvania, where many Zonians came from, meaning "come in free."
August 5, 1998