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Playground games

(19 Posts)
Otw10413 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:19:14

Does anybody remember playing catch and saying ( I'm really not sure how you spell it) 'vainites' and this was allowed as protection against being caught as long as your fingers were crossed. My husband used to say 'pax' the derivation of which is clear ; wondering where this came from?

yggdrasil Mon 03-Apr-17 12:31:02

You come from the South East, don't you. And your husband or his family had some private education?

Go look for Iona and Peter Opie's book "The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren" It is still available through Amazon, and there is a Kindle version. it will answer your question and a whole lot more :-)

Elegran Mon 03-Apr-17 12:46:30

We said "fainites" in Brighton, but I had no private education. I wonder whether fainites had some connection with fain (wishing to do something). That is in one of the Border ballads - "Mother make my bed soon, for I'm weary with hunting and fain would lie doon" Maybe the child says fainites like "please" when wishing to have a pax or breathing space?

Elegran Mon 03-Apr-17 12:53:15

There is a Burns song, too with fain ion it - Jock is a bit drunk, Jenny is willing, so not difficult to win over!

'Jocky fou, and Jenny fain,
Jenny was nae ill to gain,
She was couthy, he was kind,
Thus the wooer tell'd his mind:
Jenny I'll nae mair be nice
Gi'e me love at ony price,
I'll ne'er prig for red or white,
Love alane can gi'e delight.'

Otw10413 Mon 03-Apr-17 13:04:39

I did not have a private education at all. It was a Hertfordshire primary school but thank you for the tip. I'm fascinated by the changing playground where for many children, it is enforced time away from electronic games and so the heroes and enemies appear in all sorts of ways.

Ana Mon 03-Apr-17 13:09:00

We used to say 'barley' for some reason...confused

rosesarered Mon 03-Apr-17 13:12:34

And we used to say barlow! Almost the same ( Yorkshire for me.)

rosesarered Mon 03-Apr-17 13:13:53

Barley is a bit like parley.....pirate slang for peace or a private talk ( parlais)

Ana Mon 03-Apr-17 13:15:51


Ana Mon 03-Apr-17 13:17:10

(not the posh part - a bus ride away from Warrington)

nanaK54 Mon 03-Apr-17 13:34:28

Veinites/vainites said here too, yes South East, but certainly not 'posh'!

gillybob Mon 03-Apr-17 13:41:49

Children in the North east of England have always said "Skin-shees" and crossed their fingers.

ninathenana Mon 03-Apr-17 14:34:25

In Kent we said fainites.

TriciaF Mon 03-Apr-17 14:40:04

We said "skinch", similar to gillybob.
And "Dip - one potato 2 potatoes" etc for choosing who's 'it'.

Cherrytree59 Mon 03-Apr-17 16:47:14

Does anyone remember this clapping song

I had the German measles
I had them very bad bad bad
They wrapped me in a blanket
And put me in a van van van
The van was very shakey
I nearly tumbled out out out

When I got hospital
I heard the children shout....

Here comes Dr Anister
Sliding down the banister
Halfway down he ripped his pants
Then he did a ballet dance!

TriciaF Mon 03-Apr-17 17:08:07

grin probably referring to the poor children, if they had an infectious disease, who had to go to an isolation hospital.

DanniRae Mon 03-Apr-17 17:21:16

We said vainites too and I grew up in Surrey - definitely not posh either!

My husband used to say fainites and he grew up in South London. Very posh (not)!

Grandma2213 Tue 04-Apr-17 02:14:36

We said 'skinch' too in Cumberland (as was!) TriciaF. We also did 'One potato...' tapping on upturned fists for choosing 'It'.

Strangely I cannot remember any of the rhymes we chanted for skipping games or 'two ball' which was my favourite. I was overjoyed when one birthday I was bought two matching balls which made it so much more satisfactory!

TriciaF Tue 04-Apr-17 16:17:04

I found this old thread from Gransnet on Google: