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[hop-skoch] /ˈhɒpˌskɒtʃ/
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 section to section and picks up the stone or object, usually while standing on one foot in an adjacent section.
verb (used without object), Informal.
to jump or leap from one place to another:
Small birds hopscotched on the lawn.
to journey quickly and directly from one usually far place to another:
ambassadors hopscotching from Moscow to Paris to London.
to move or pass through something, as a geographical area or a field of endeavor, making many brief stops:
The candidate hopscotched through four states in two days.
to shift from one thing to another quickly or abruptly:
The story hopscotches from the present to the past in a confusing way.
verb (used with object), Informal.
to jump or leap over.
to cross over (a large area or distance) in one continuous action:
She hopscotches the country in her private plane.
to cross or travel through erratically or abruptly:
The escaped convicts hopscotched the valley.
1795-1805; hop1 + scotch1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hopscotch
  • It was a race, hopscotch race against these diseases.
  • Information moving through cyberspace travels in tiny packets that hopscotch around the world.
  • Christine especially enjoyed playing hopscotch and jacks and jumping rope.
  • Play hopscotch, jacks, red rover and other group games.
  • Play tag or hopscotch, jump rope, or dance for some fun aerobic exercises.
  • Jump-the-rope and hopscotch could be really dangerous.
  • Also available are box hockey, tetherball, and hopscotch and shuffleboard courts.
  • There are many ways for kids to be physically active, such as playing ball games or hopscotch.
  • Some students don't know how to play games such as four square or hopscotch and may need some gentle instruction.
  • They are unifying in what appears to be geographic and/or operational-type hopscotch patterns.
British Dictionary definitions for hopscotch


a children's game in which a player throws a small stone or other object to land in one of a pattern of squares marked on the ground and then hops over to it to pick it up
Word Origin
C19: hop1 + scotch1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hopscotch

1801 (from 1789 as hop-scot), from hop (v.) + scotch (n.2) "scratch," from the lines scored in the dirt to make the squares for the game.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hopscotch



To leap about; make long and diverse transits: The show hopscotches from Toronto and Boston to Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas

[1970s+; fr the children's game]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for hopscotch

age-old children's game based on an idea of not treading on lines. Variations of the game are played in many countries. The game's English name expresses its object: to hop over the "scotch," a line, or scratch, drawn on the ground. Lines are drawn in a variety of patterns. Spaces in the diagrams are numbered, and they must be traversed in order

Learn more about hopscotch with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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