"Red Rover"

Prof. Roly Sussex sussex at LINGUA.ARTS.UQ.EDU.AU
Sun May 23 22:47:17 UTC 1999

I am trying to locate the origins of the phrase "It's all over,
Red Rover". This phrase is used in Australia by sports commentators,
for instance: "If the X team scores again, it's all over, Red
Rover" -- meaning that the other team has no chance of winning.
I know of Red Rover as a children's chasing game which certainly
is played in the US, with phrases like "send over, Red Rover ...".
But is the phrase "it's all over, Red Rover" used outside
the children's game in this way?

Many thanks

Roly Sussex
The University of Queensland

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