Stroboscopic photo of a wink being potted in the game of tiddlywinks The North American Tiddlywinks Association
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Tiddlywinks Bibliography

© 1980-2012 Rick Tucker & Fred Shapiro.  All Rights Reserved.  Legal

The Tiddlywinks Bibliography is a compendium of all substantive and obscure citations to the game of tiddlywinks in all available resources:  newspapers, magazines, books, government records, images, audio, video, websites, etc.  In other words, if the game of tiddlywinks was mentioned either briefly or in detail, it should be in the Tiddlywinks Bibliography.

Introduction · Newspapers · Schools · Magazines · Books · Letters etc.· Diaries and Narratives · Photographs · Video/Audio · Comics · Visual Art · Tiddlywinks Publications · Equipment · Patents · Trademarks · Copyrights · Legal Cases · Miscellaneous · Museums & Collections


Nonfiction · Literature and Fiction · Dictionaries and Etymology · Directories · Catalogs/Antiques · Rabelais · T'an Chi

Books about Winking Words and Their Etymologies

1945 Sidney J. Baker. The Australian language. 1945. Pages 109, 163, 270  

Albert Barrère, Charles Godfrey. A dictionary of slang, jargon & cant: embracing English, American, and Anglo-Indian slang, pidgin English, tinker's jargon and other irregular phraseology. Volume 1. The Ballantyne Press, 1890.

  • Page 285: Spoof (turf), deception, swindle, sell. Properly a childish kind of game like " tiddlywinks."
  • Next day I put all my oof
    On to Gold (sixteen to one),
    And now I hear the cry of spoof,
    The race is o'er, and he's not won.
    —Bird o' Freedom.
  • Spoof has been defined by Sir P. Colquhoun as "an unintelligible shibboleth, invented to indicate an idiotic game—a sell. Exactly as 'the loud laugh proclaims the empty mind,' so, to be an adept in the spoof cult, indicates, as the first qualification for that dubious distinction, softening of the brain." This term owes its origin to the game of spoof, played on a draught-board with counters, which have to be whisked on the top of the adversary's own counters by means of a small stick. It has been suggested,
    however, that "spoof is from provincial English spoffle, to busy oneself overmuch about a matter of small consequence, to rage over a trifle, as a 'great cry and little wool,' i.e., a cheat or.sell. Hence disappointment, deceit."
  • Love he used to think, I've said before, a riddle;
    To-day he says the mot d'énigme is oof,
    And that lovers play a very second fiddle
    To markers at the noble game oi spoof.
    —Sporting Times.
  • 'Tis oh! to be the people's "pug,"
    Who is paid at halls to spar, Who's a lovely, unscratched, scarless mug,
    Who lives like a La-di-da I Big battles he fights which are always drawn,
    But draw much golden oof, He boasts of his biceps and "Boston" brawn—
    'Tis oh! for the game of spoof.
    —Bird o' Freedom.
  • Also the confidence-trick swindle.
    Also to play spoof.
  • The alligator and crocodile are just in the prime of life at 100. There are parrots in the gardens who are seventy-five years old, and still cheerful, and the swan begins to think about putting away youthful follies at 200. I hope the keeper who told me all this knows that it is wicked to play spoof on Sunday. I believed all he told me, and kept saying "Really" in such a sweetly innocent way, that he may have been tempted to put the pot on.— Referee.

Henry G. Burger. The wordtree: a transitive cladistic for solving physical & social problems : the dictionary that analyzes a quarter-million word-listings by their processes, branches them binarily to pinpoint the concepts, thus sequentially tracing causes to their effects, to produce a handbook of physical and social engineering. 1984. Pages 67, 227, 246

  • [Page 67] 1301. TO SQUOP
1971 John Carroll et al. The American heritage word frequency book. 1971. Pages 475, 732  

The Century dictionary and cyclopedia. 1911. Volume 9. (tiddledewinks, squap) 1911 edition has 1909 Century dictionary supplement bound in

Page 5875

  • squap (skwop), v. [A dial. var. of swap.] To strike. [Prov. Eng.]
  • squap (skwop), n. [< squap, v.] A blow. [Prov. Eng.]

Page 6496

  • tiddledewinks (tid'l-de-wingks), n. A trivial game in which the players try to make small counters jump into a box, by pressing on their edges with another counter.
  • tiddlywink, n. 3. pl. See ★tiddledewinks.
Digital copy and transcript (NAtwA)
1980 John Ciardi. A browser's dictionary. © 1980. Pages 385­86  
1895 Conkey Co. The American encyclopaedic dictionary. 1895. Volume SUP­Z (wink)  
1982 Paul Dickson. Words. © 1982, Delacorte Press. Chapter "Game names", pages 222 (boondock), 225 (nurdle), 226 (squidger, squop) Original (NATwA)
1982 Dickson's Word Treasury. © 1982, 1992. Page 125 (boondocking), 127 (nurdling), 128 (squidger, squop)  
1958 Dizionario Enciclopedico Italiano. 1958, Roma. Volume 9.
  • Page 924: Pulce

    3. Giocco delle p.: si effettua tra due o più giocatori con piccoli gettoni che si fanno saltare su un tavolo coperto da un tappeto premendoli con un gettone più grande. Vince chi riesce a fare entrar prima i suoi gettoni in un piattello al centro del tavolo o riesce a «mangiare» (saltandovi sopra con un suo gettone) i gettoni dell'avversario.
  English-Afrikaans dictionary (translation of "tiddlywinks" as "saltodiskoj" ("disc­game"))  
1976 Stuart B. Flexner. I hear America talking. 1976. Pages 125, 127, 328  
  Julian Franklyn. A dictionary of rhyming slang  
1895 Funk and Wagnalls. 1895. (tiddledy winks)  

James Orchard Halliwell. A dictionary of archaic and provincial words. 1855 (originally 1847). (tidliwink, squap)

Fifth edition. 1901.

  • Page 790: SQUAP. To sit down idly. Somerset
  • Page 791: SQUIDGE. To squeeze. I. Wight.
  • Page 873: TIDLIWINK. A beer-shop. West. It is called in some places kidliwink.
1882 Fred W. P. Jago. Glossary of the Cornish dialect. 1882  
1905 Daniel Lyons, editor. American dictionary of the English language. 1905, P. F. Collier & Son.  
1891 James Maitland. The American slang dictionary. © 1891 ("the name of a game" for "tiddlywink") Transcript (NATwA)

Erin McKean. Verbatim: from the bawdy to the sublime, the best writing on language for word lovers, grammar mavens, and armchair linguists. © 2001. Pages 149-151. This is a reprint from Verbatim magazine, December 1977. Illustration on page 150 of two boys playing tiddlywinks.

  • Winking Words by Philip Michael Cohen

    Twenty years ago, a group of Cambridge students decided to establish a sport where they could excel, the traditional ones being tiresomely full of experts. When they chose tiddlywinks, and began standardising rules and equipment, they surely had no idea that it would become nationally prominent (with the aid of Goon Show players and Prince Phillip) and even take root across the Atlantic. [...]
1897 Eduard Muret. Muret encyclopaedic English­German and German­English dictionary. August 1897. [PF3640.M8] Part first (English­German), second half (L­Z), page 2199 ("tiddl(e)ywink" -s) Photocopy (NATwA)
1933+ Oxford English dictionary (OED). 1933 and supplements, Oxford University Press. Volume [TBD] page 719 ("squappe"), 743 ("squidge"); volume [TBD], page 10 ("tiddlywink(s)"),


Photocopy (NATwA)

1986 Oxford English dictionary supplement (OEDS). Volume IV, Se­Z. 1986. (squidge, squidger, squop, squopper, tiddler, tiddlywink, tiddlywinker, tiddlywinks, triple crown, wink, winker, winking, winks)


Photocopy (NATwA)


Oxford English dictionary online

Lexicon of the game of tiddlywinks

Other entries mentioning tiddlywinks or its terms


Digital copy (NATwA)

[some to be retrieved]

1970 Eric Partridge. A dictionary of slang & unconventional English. 7th edition. 1970. Pages 818 (squab), 883­84 (tiddlywink), 890 (titley), 1334 (play tiddlywinks), 1468 (tiddly wink), 1513 (wink), 454 and 1235­36 (kidlywink). Refers to a relevant letter from Moe to Partridge Transcript (NATwA)
1984 Eric Partridge. A dictionary of slang & unconventional English. 8th edition, edited by Paul Beale. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. ©1984. [PE3721.P3] Pages ix ("Tiddlywinks" in list), 1397 (appendix devoted to tiddlywinks jargon, by Cyril Edwards); also throughout.


Photocopy (NATwA)

1966 Eric Partridge. Origins: a short etymological dictionary of modern English. © 1966, 4th edition.  
1976 K. C. Phillips. Westcountry words and ways. 1976. Page 72  

Sir James A. H. Murray, editor. A New English dictionary on historical principles: founded mainly on the materials collected by the Philological Society, Volume 6, L-N. This was a predecessor to the Oxford English dictionary.

  • Page 457: Lotto, loto [...]

    1894 Contemp. Rev. Aug. 24. The children played draughts, bagatelle, lotto, or tiddlywinks.
  • Page 490: Ludo [...]

    1898 Westm. Gaz. 4 Jan 2/1 Cards, tiddley-winks, and ludo are played, but gambling is strictly forbidden.
1967 Random House. American dictionary. 1967. (dictionary of 30,000 words)  
1966 Random House dictionary of the English language. © 1966. Page 1483 (tiddlywinks, wink from winch)  
1970 Paul Robert. Dictionnaire alphabetique et analogique de la langue francais. 1970. Volume 5, page 539 (puce)  
1965 A. H. Smith, J. L. N. O'Loughlin, editors. Odham's dictionary of the English language. 1965  
1977 Susan Kelz Sperling. Poplollies and bellibones, a celebration of lost words. © 1977. Pages 59, 101 ("KIDLIIWINK"), 109 ("TIDLIWINK") Transcript (NATwA)

Sol Steinmetz. There's a Word for It: The Explosion of the American Language Since 1900. © 2010. Page 120. Harmony Books.

  • 1956

    squop (v.)
  Webster's new international dictionary. 2nd edition.  
1961 Webster's third new international dictionary. 1961. Pages 2216 (squidge), 2390 (tiddledywinks), 2622 (wink); also (chip)  
1904 Webster's universal dictionary. 1904. (tiddledywinks/tiddlywinks)  
1904 Webster's empire dictionary. 1904  
1904 Webster's imperial dictionary. 1904  
1921 Ernest Weekley. An etymological dictionary of modern English. 1921. Volume 2  
1969 J. C. Wells. Esperanto­English dictionary. 1969. Page 394 (saltodiskoj)  
1905 Joseph Wright, editor. English dialect dictionary. 1905, reprinted 1970. Volume 6, page 137 (tiddlywink). Volume 5, pages 709 (squidge), 704 (squap). Volume 6, page 173 of supplement (squallop) Photocopy (NATwA)
1857 Thomas Wright. Dictionary of obsolete & provincial English. 1857, reprinted 1967. Volume 2 (squap) is the official web site of the North American Tiddlywinks Association.
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