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A nostalgic offering this week for those of us who remember playing chasie in our local neighborhood. Dictionaries of the Scots Language (DSL) records this word (from 1965) as meaning:


“... also applied to a game in which the players are divided into two equal sides, one of which runs and the other chases and captures, there being no sanctuary area”.


The citation is from Golden City, J T R Ritchie’s observation of children’s street games during his time as a teacher in Edinburgh.


An earlier twenty-first-century example comes from A D Scott’s 1914 novel The Low Road:


“Playing chasie, they ran like rats in thrall to the Pied Piper …”.


More recent examples in the DSL include an Edinburgh native’s memory, recorded in 1983:


“Ah liked tae play chasie wi the laddies”.


(There was another version of the game called “kissie chasie”, but that might have been for older bairns...)



Later twentieth-century examples suggest that the game was disappearing, as in this from the Edinburgh Evening News of November 1999:


“But popular games such as chasie, tig, hide-and-seek, bools and peevers died a death with the modern age”.


Although, in August 2016, a writer in the Daily Record encouraged us to:


“Channel your inner six-year-old and spend some time playing with wild abandon - board games, hide and seek, Pie Face or chasey, just make like the wee ones today and forget about all that adulting”.


What are we waiting for?


This Scots Word of the Week was written by Pauline Cairns Speitel, Dictionaries of the Scots Language -