Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

LEAVE-O, n. Also -oi, leavie-o (Abd. 1925). A children's game in which one player or side hunts out and captures those of the other and places them in a den from which they have to be released by the opposing side (Ork., ne.Sc., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1960). See also Reliever. Comb. leavo-morris, id., a call in the game when the side to be captured rush off challenging pursuit (Ork. 1930). Ayr. 1951  Stat. Acc.3 282:
Under the influence of the cinema traditional games like “Leave-o”, “Hunch-cuddy-hunch”, “Kick the Can” are gradually disappearing.
Abd. 1958  Abd. Press & Jnl. (22 Sept.):
Leave-oh, otherwise known as Release, was a kind of catch-as-catch-can.

[From leave-o, a call made in the game by the children who have hidden, short for relieve-o, by which name the game is known in n.Eng. dial.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Leave-o n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down