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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:40 pm
Posts: 25
Location: On the moon
"Barley," said in a game.
When we were kids in the early sixties and playing "Kick the Can," on the Rec., we used to say, "Barley" when we got back to the tin. This meant that you could not be tigged,( "Tig" to tap on the body and that person thereby being caught.) For years I had wondered why we said, "Barley." Why such a strange word? It was only after watching, " The Pirates of the Carribean" that I realized the word's meaning, for in that film one of the characters said,"Parley," which meant that they had entered into a truce and therefore could not be harmed. Barley is a corruption of this word. The modern definition is, "to hold an informal conference with an enemy under a truce, as between active hostilities," exactly the situation in the games.
How come we had got hold of such a word? It was used in all games where getting back to base without being caught meant that you were untouchable.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:08 am 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 8049
Location: Staffordshire
Passed down the generations?

I don't remember it being said when I was a girl.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:31 am 
Computer Whizz
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Near Chorley
I remember that being said--"ha ha I'm barley you can't touch me".

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:18 pm 
Sage of Simonstone
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:07 pm
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Location: Burnley
When we said it, we had to put our thumbs up at the same time

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:18 pm 
Genealogist in Waiting
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 389
Location: Richards Landing, Ontario, Canada
Barley is a corruption of Parley which is a corruption of Parlez. We have a lot of French roots to our language, as we all know...just another instance of how that language is embedded in English.


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