Marble Words

Kids often adopt and share specialized vocabularies for playing games. There is a complex and enormous set of jargon that have used by kids for playing marbles. The vocabulary of marble playing is different in different regions and times. Marble playing used to be common for school aged children. To become an expert requires rigorous practice, hours of patience, and dirty knees. Kids who play marbles learn and share many of these special words. You will find those words in use throughout this web site.
("The Vocabulary of Marble Playing" The American Dialext Society, 1955.)

aggie (bull's-eye)
an aggate marble that looks like a bulle's eye. White marlbe with circular rings
aggie (cat's eye)
an agate marble that looks like a cat's eye
alley
the area marked out to play marlbes
alley taw
the offensive marble set aside for shooting
ante
the wager in a marble game of chance
baby up
to slily approach the marle ring in order to get the best angle
back to taw
when a player needs to return to where he shot last
bombing or bombies
dropping your marble onto another marble.
boss
a large playing marble
bull ring
a large round ring for playing marbles
burns
a call by a player which allows him to roll his marble again after his shooter has hit some object that deflected it from the desired direction
china alley
a marble made from china ware with rings painted in different colors
chuck
a shooter that remains in the ring after being rolled towards marles in the ring
clears, clearies
a call that gives permission to clear obstacles from the ground before the defensive marble
clip
the act of hitting a marble
commie
a cheap, common marble
dob
a large marble
downsies
a call demanding that the shooter keep his knuckles on the ground when shooting
dubs
when two or more marbles are knocked out of the ring with one shot.
drop
an expert marble player
dubbed up
a player has dubbed up when he claims that he has lost all his marbles while he still has some marbles in his possession
dubs
a call that gives the player right to take all marbles, or no dubs to revoke the right
earnest
a game in which players keepthe marbles they knock from the ring
edger
a marble or taw that is near the edge of the ring or shooting line
for fair, or fairsies
rules of playing in which each player gets back his or her marbles at the end of the game.
fudging
moving your hand foward while shooting.
fumble
to allow the marlbe to slip from the hand when shooting
hand span
the width of your hand
jumpsies
shooting your marble in such a way that it jumps into the air and hits the target marbleon landing without hitting the ground first.
keepsies
rules that any marbles that a player looses are not returned at the end of the game, but kept by whoever won them.
lacky
last in order of shooting
lagging
in marbles you don't flip a coin to see who goes first. you shoot or bowl a marble from the pitch line to another parallel line called the lag line.
lag line
the line you throw toward when lagging.
mibs
target marbles, the ones you shoot at.
mibster
a marble player.
pee wee
a small marble, not always round
pitch line
the line you stand behind to lag.
pot
collection of marbles that every player adds to for playing a game.
poon
toshoot at a marble from a long distance
shooter
the marble you shoot with. it may be slightly larger than a regular marble. some players have favorite or lucky shooters.
shooting line
the line behind which you stand and shoot in a game.
slip
when a marble slips out of a player's hand accidentally.
snooger
term used in ringer to describe a terget marble that is near the rim of the ring
shoot
to roll pitch, or move a marble in the direction of a target
shooter or taw
the offensive marble
smug
to grab all the marbles and run when some action might break up the game
target marble
the marble you want to hit
taw
marble you are shooting with, the shooter.
taw line
line behind which you shoot.
 

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