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A corrupt form of the French billard. “Autrefois, le bâton avec lequel on poussait les billes”; then “la table verte sur laquelle on joue”; and, lastly, the “game itself.”

Similar plural forms are the games called bowls, cards, dominoes, draughts, marbles, quoits, skittles, tops, etc.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Bill of Health
Bill of Lading
Bill of Pains and Penalties (A)
Bill of Quantities
Bill of Rights
Bill of Sale
Bills of Mortality
Bills of Parcels
Billee (Little)
Billet-doux [pronounce billy doo]
Billings (Josh)
Billingsgate (London)
Billingsgate Pheasant (A)
Billy Barlow
Billycock Hats
Binary Arithmetic
Binary Theory
Bingham’s Dandies