Ollie ollie oxen free is a truce term in children’s games (most notably hide and seek, capture the flag and kick the can) used to encourage still hiding players to come out freely.
The phrase has several variations, depending on geographical location.
The exact origin of the phrase, as well as its initial form is unknown and widely debated, however, the most commonly accepted phrase, “ollie ollie oxen free” is originated from is all ye, all ye outs in free.
Over centuries of playing, the phrase was melded and shaped little by little by the frolicking cries of children.
“Ollie ollie oxen free” has its regional variants around the globe.
These include: ollie ollie come in fre; ollie ollie oxenfreed; ollie ollie ocean free; as well as ollie ollie olsen free.
“Ollie ollie oxen free” and its variations also served as the title of several songs, movies as well as a 2016 video game, titled Oxenfree.
- Appalachian History – Ollie Ollie In Come Free!