Mudcat Café message #2120904 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103866   Message #2120904
Posted By: Les from Hull
07-Aug-07 - 01:08 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Tag (the game)
Subject: RE: BS: Tag
It's interest that you've all picked up on the different 'time out' phrases used (although in the UK we never said 'time out' until so influenced by American TV or film. Peter and Iona Opie a couple of wonderful folkloreists produced a map of 'children's truce terms' in their book 'The lore and language of schoolchildren' (1977). Anyone interested in this thread in the UK should try to get a look at this book - it's a mine of information and nostalgia for those of us of 'a certain age'.

The truce term in Hull was 'kings', although when I got a scholarship to a posh school this was replaced by 'pax'. It seems you come from the 'fainites/fains/vainites/vains' area down south, Splotty. This is one of the oldest of such terms, being mediaeval English and originally Old French se feindre - make excuses, hang back, back out (esp of battle).