Spanish Fly

“A [Manx (via Mithridates)] game in which one boy gave a back as in leap- frog, the other boys then leapt over him four times– fore and aft and from each side—each calling out as he did so, spanish fly. The process was then repeated, varied by the cry ‘tip on the bot, spanish fly,’ suiting the action to the word. Then a cap was placed on his back, caps being added until they were knocked off, the boy knocking them down having to take his place under, when the game was repeated. If a boy omitted to call ‘spanish fy’ he was out.” There are “Spaniards” on the Isle of Man and various other traces of Spain, some related to the Armada, and some related to Ronnie Aldrich, but I can’t figure this particular one.

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