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Oly Oly Oxen Free (also spelled "Olly Olly Oxen Free") is a seven-beat tone used as an "all-clear" code by the SPARTAN-IIs. Spartans would either just whistle the tone or would whistle it and shout "Oly Oly Oxen Free" after.[1] The proper counter-response was, "Oly Oly Oxen Free, All out in the free, We're all free."[1]

Psychology[]

Oly Oly Oxen Free was a secret amongst the SPARTAN-IIs. They, and a select few outsiders knew it. Those outsiders were close to the SPARTAN-II's "family"; such as Dr. Catherine Halsey, Cortana, and Sergeant Johnson. Thus, the signal was extremely important to each Spartan; they would rather die than give up the significance of the tone, which could potentially be used to betray or endanger their teammates. They learned this tune/code from their AI instructor, Déjà, while they were training on Reach.

Uses[]

The term Oly Oly Oxen Free was used on numerous occasions throughout Halo. Some of the times it was used are as follows:

Non-Canon Use[]

Marines use it on the Halo 3 level The Ark when firing on the first Covenant encampment, as well as in Crow's Nest, but only if the IWHBYD Skull is activated.[8]

Trivia[]

  • Dana Awbrey alludes to this phrase by titling a blog post "Oly Oly Axon Free."
  • In real life,, Oly Oly Oxen Free was originally used to tell players in a game of hide and seek that the game was over and they could come out of hiding.
  • Oly Oly Oxen Free has 7 syllables, which is a 7 reference.

Sources[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Halo: First Strike Page 166
  2. Halo: First Strike page 56
  3. Halo: First Strike, page 118: "Or maybe you're just not saying anything they want to hear," Kelly said. She whistled a six-note singsong tune.
  4. Halo: First Strike Page 322
  5. Halo: First Strike, Page 326
  6. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx Page 236
  7. Halo 5: Guardians - Level: Reunion
  8. Halo 3

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