hist-games: Re: Homo Ludens and Dice history

Adrian Seville A.H.Seville at city.ac.uk
Thu Aug 12 03:07:45 PDT 1999


In England, the names for the dice throws were very variable in 
spelling.  Thomas Dekker, in The Bel-Man of London (1608) gives these 
names for the fourteen kinds of false dice used by cheats.

He specifies a 'bale' of each of these kinds: 

Bard sincke Dewces
Flat sinke Dewces
Flat sice Aces
Bard sice Aces
Bard Cater-Treas
Flat Cater-Treas
Fullams
light Craniers
Langrets, contrary to the vantage
Gordes, with as many High men as Low men for Passage
Demies
Long Dyce for even and odd
Bristles
Direct Contraries

Does anyone out there know what they all do - exactly?

Adrian Seville
> Date:          Tue, 10 Aug 1999 17:12:20 +0200
> To:            hist-games at pbm.com
> From:          Thierry Depaulis <thierry.depaulis at freesbee.fr>
> Subject:       hist-games: Re: Homo Ludens and Dice history

> On Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 Matthew Whitaker <WhitakeM at nwrel.org> asked:
> 
> >I read somewhere that dice, in the pre17th centuries, were named according
> >to their pips.
> >
> ># of Pips	Dice Name
> >one		Ace
> >two		Deuce
> >three		Trey
> >four		Quarter
> >five		Cinq, or Sink
> >six		Sice
> >
> >(Obviously, some of these are corruption's of French.)
> 
> Yes. They're Anglo-Norman, a dialect of Old French. In French the pips are
> called: as, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six.
> 
> >Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew of the names in other languages, or
> >perhaps a site where I could find them.
> >
> >I am especially looking for the names in the following languages:  Latin,
> >French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Irish, and Russian.  Any
> >others would be great, too.
> >
> >Any help any of you could provide would be quite appreciated.  Thanks!
> 
> The answer might be here:
> 
> Alex R. Kraaijeveld <a.kraayeveld at ic.ac.uk> wrote:
> 
> >For those of you interested in research into games, the Mozarteum in
> >Salzburg, Austria publishes 'Homo ludens' yearly (volume 9 is in
> >preparation for later this year). For more info, go to:
> >
> >http://www.moz.ac.at/~spiel/publi/d_p_ludens.html
> 
> They are also preparing an exhibition on "5,000 years of dice history" to
> be opened in a few days (with a catalogue). For more detail visit their
> site!
> 
> Thierry Depaulis
> Paris
> 
> 
> 
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