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"Words from Games" is our theme this week. How about a short one, to honor last week's theme?

taw – a large choice or fancy marble, often streaked or variegated, being that with which the player shoots

Dickens and Clemens each use this word, speaking of an "alley" [alabaster] taw.
    . . "Oh, never you mind what she said, Jim. That's the way she always talks. Gimme the bucket—I won't be gone only a a minute. SHE won't ever know."
    . . ."Oh, I dasn't, Mars Tom. Ole missis she'd take an' tar de head off'n me. 'Deed she would."
    . . ."SHE! She never licks anybody—whacks 'em over the head with her thimble—and who cares for that, I'd like to know. She talks awful, but talk don't hurt—anyways it don't if she don't cry. Jim, I'll give you a marvel. I'll give you a white alley!"
    . . .Jim began to waver.
    . . ."White alley, Jim! And it's a bully taw."
    . . ."My! Dat's a mighty gay marvel, I tell you! But Mars Tom I's powerful 'fraid ole missis—"
    . . ."And besides, if you will I'll show you my sore toe."
    . . .Jim was only human—this attraction was too much for him.
    – Samuel Clemens, Tom Sawyer

    'But enough of this, gentlemen,' said Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz, 'it is difficult to smile with an aching heart; it is ill jesting when our deepest sympathies are awakened. My client's hopes and prospects are ruined, and it is no figure of speech to say that her occupation is gone indeed. The bill is down--but there is no tenant. Eligible single gentlemen pass and repass-but there is no invitation for to inquire within or without. All is gloom and silence in the house; even the voice of the child is hushed; his infant sports are disregarded when his mother weeps; his "alley tors" and his "commoneys" are alike neglected; he forgets the long familiar cry of "knuckle down," and at tip-cheese, or odd and even, his hand is out. '
    – Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers
 
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Marble types that I remember from when I was a kid
  • Aggies
  • Cat's-eyes
  • Dog-eyes
  • Puries
  • Steelies
  • Marbles
  • Half-pints (a little bigger than marbles)
  • Boulders (equivalent to a taw)
  • Queensies
  • Kingsies


Myth Jellies
Cerebroplegia--the cure is within our grasp
 
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Yeah, Myth, we (boys in southeast Kansas) had marbles with most of those names, plus glassies and pottries (ceramic), and we called all of them "doogies" -- not marbles.
 
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Yesterday, the game of marbles. Today, another game in which the object is to hit your opponent's sphere with your own.

roquet – in croquet, the act of hitting another player's ball with one's own
    She could have even deliberately come up behind me so she could roquet my ball into the briar patch, thus making sure I'd find the body.
    – Donna Andrews, No Nest for the Wicket
 
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Yesterday, croquet. Today, another game of mallets striking balls.

chukka – each of the periods into which a game of polo is divided [Sanskrit, 'circle' or 'wheel']
[also, a kind of high shoe, resembling a polo boot]
    The trouble with Jeeves is that he tends occasionally to get above himself. ... he has a nasty way of conveying the impression that he looks on Bertram Wooster as a sort of idiot child who, but for him, would conk in the first chukka. I resent this.
    – P.G. Wodehouse, Life with Jeeves
Bonus word:
conk
– to break down, give out, fail, or show signs of failing; to die, collapse, or lose
[first used of WWI airplanes. perhaps related to conk slang for "nose" (1812) [seen as like a conch shell?], whence conk "to punch in the nose", whence conk "to hit on the head"]
 
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quote:
Yesterday, the game of marbles.

The village of Tinsley Green, not far from where I live, is the marbles centre of the world!

See here http://www.marblemuseum.org/tinsley/tinsleygreen.html


Richard English
 
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Conk

This is often used as a slang term for "nose", as in "I'll punch you on the conk". It is also often used in the phrase conk out, as in "the car conked out", which means "the car broke down".

Wodehouse's use as a transitive verb meaning "to hit on the nose/head" is rare now, although it may have been more frequent when he wrote the book.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Conk as a noun also means the caustic methods of straightening kinky hair. There's a description of the process in The Autobiography of Malcolm X.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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From the game of jai alai (Basque jai festival + alai merry)
pelota1. the game itself 2. the ball used
cesta – a scoop-shaped wicker basket, worn over the hand, used to catch and throw the ball
fronton – a building where pelota is played
    . . .The fronton where pelota was played was a large outdoor arena the size of a football field ... Members of each team took turns slamming the ball into the concrete wall and catching it on the rebound in their cestas, the long, narrow baskets strapped to their arms. Pelota was a fast, dangerous game. ...
    . . ."Is it as dangerous as it looks?" Tracy asked.
    . . ."Baroness, that ball travels through the air at almost a hundred miles an hour.¹ If you get hit in the head, you're dead."
    – Sidney Sheldon, If Tomorrow Comes
¹ Actually, that's a gross understatement. According to one web-source, "Slightly smaller than a baseball and livelier than a golf ball, the pelota … has been clocked in play at more than 185 miles per hour and can shatter bulletproof glass." Another: "Jai-alai is the world's fastest ball game. … compare: hockey slapshot [120 mph]; tennis serve [130 mph]; squash [120 mph]."
 
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oche – the line behind which darts players stand when throwing
    Darts may not be glamorous, but it's worth defending the oche as it gets smothered by the spread of the gastropub.
    – Guardian Unlimited, March 9, 2007
 
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Jai alai's pelota sounds similar to bocce ball's pallino. Also known as the jack, it is the little target ball that you try to get your balls closest to.

A cursory search indicates that both words come from words that mean "pellet".

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Myth Jellies,


Myth Jellies
Cerebroplegia--the cure is within our grasp
 
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muleta – a short red cape, used by a matador to maneuver a bull during the final passes before a kill
    You ... played with rhinos, with the jeep, letting them come up to horn range before you swerved, using the jeep as a bullfighter uses a muleta to turn a bull's charge.
    – Robert Ruark, Something of Value
 
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I'm sure you're all familiar with the great sport of tiddlywinks?

squidger – the larger wink used to propel or flip a player's winks (verb: squidge – to so propel)
squop – to cover and immobilize (another's wink) with one's own
    A squopped wink cannot be squidged again until it is de-squopped.
    – Time, Sept. 14, 1962
 
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