The well-known children's game which involves a pattern of squares (beds) marked on the ground, into which players throw a stone and travel across them in a series of hops and jumps, sometimes kicking the stone as they go. The pattern varies considerably within the basic oblong shape, as do the instructions as to which squares need to be avoided, the sequence of hops, and so on. As with all children's games, the terminology also varies. The general name 'Hopscotch' or, almost as frequent in earlier times, 'Scotch-hoppers', refers to hopping over the scotches, or marks scored in the ground, rather than containing any reference to Scotland. The earliest definite illustration of the game is found in Jacques Stella, Les Jeux et plaisirs de l'en-fance (1657), although it is usually presumed to be much older. It is not mentioned in English until William King, Useful Transactions in Philosophy (1709), but there are numerous references from that time onwards.
   The Opies identify the basic 'ladder' shape, with a number of equal-sized and same-shaped beds, as the earliest form, which was developed in two main ways. One was to add a semicircular bed at the top (usually used for turning round and/or resting in), the other was to divide alternate beds in half. This provides for the basic movement of hop (into a whole bed), split (one foot in each half-bed), hop, split, and so on. A further variation is to divide some beds with diagonal lines, thus quartering them. Other major variants are Spiral Hopscotch, and ball Hopscotch. Opie and Opie, 1997: 95-109; Gomme, 1894: i. 223-7.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Hopscotch — Hop scotch , n. A child s game, in which a player, hopping on one foot, drives a stone from one compartment to another of a figure traced or scotched on the ground; called also {hoppers}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hopscotch — 1801 (from 1789 as hop scot), from HOP (Cf. hop) (v.) + SCOTCH (Cf. scotch) (v.) scratch, from the lines scored in the dirt to make the squares for the game …   Etymology dictionary

  • hopscotch — ► NOUN ▪ a children s game of hopping into and over squares marked on the ground to retrieve a marker. ORIGIN from HOP(Cf. ↑hoppy) + SCOTCH(Cf. ↑scotch) in the sense put and end to, stop , reflecting the pattern of hopping and stopping… …   English terms dictionary

  • hopscotch — [häp′skäch΄] n. [ HOP1 + SCOTCH1] a children s game in which a player tosses a small, flat object, as a stone, into one section after another of a figure drawn on the ground, hopping from section to section to pick up the object after each toss …   English World dictionary

  • Hopscotch — For other uses, see Hopscotch (disambiguation). Primary school girls and boys hopscotching in Cuba, where the game is known as pon Hopscotch is a children s game that can be played with several players or alone. Hopscotch is a popular playground… …   Wikipedia

  • hopscotch — n. to play hopscotch * * * [ hɒpskɒtʃ] to play hopscotch …   Combinatory dictionary

  • hopscotch — /hop skoch /, n. 1. a children s game in which a player tosses or kicks a small flat stone, beanbag, or other object into one of several numbered sections of a diagram marked on the pavement or ground and then hops on one foot over the lines from …   Universalium

  • hopscotch — [[t]hɒ̱pskɒtʃ[/t]] N UNCOUNT Hopscotch is a children s game which involves jumping between squares which are drawn on the ground …   English dictionary

  • hopscotch n — What do you get when you cross a rabbit with a kilt? ... Hopscotch …   English expressions

  • hopscotch —   Kinuwā.    ♦ To play hopscotch, kinuwā …   English-Hawaiian dictionary