"giant steps"/ "may-I"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jul 9 22:33:38 UTC 2006

We played "red rover" as well.  At school.


Lynne Murphy <m.l.murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Lynne Murphy
Subject: Re: "giant steps"/ "may-I"

No one's mentioned Red Rover, which I consider to be in the same 'family'
of games. Someone is 'it', like the mother in 'Mother May I?' and says
"Red Rover Red Rover let X come over', where X was often a color--e.g. 'let
green come over' meant anyone with green in their clothing could come to
the other side. The X could be other identifying features as well.
Another great game of social ostracism.


--On Saturday, July 8, 2006 10:03 pm -0500 Barbara Need

>> "Mother may I" is also the name that I know it by. How it differs from
>> "giant steps" and how they both differ from "red light" I no longer
>> remember.
> As I recall, Mother, May I the person moving had to ask permission to
> move forward. Mother would say "John, move two giant steps forward
> and John would have to say Mother, may I? before actually moving
> forward, or be forced to go back to the start.
> Red light sounds more like "Steps" (described elsewhere)--the caller
> stands with his/her back to the start line and the movers move
> forward. If a mover is still moving when the caller turns around,
> s/he has to go back to the start line.
> Barbara

Dr M Lynne Murphy
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language
Arts B133
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN

phone: +44-(0)1273-678844

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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