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Rupert’s Balls

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or Prince Rupert’s Drops. Glass bubbles first brought to England by Prince Rupert. Each bubble has a tail, and if the smallest part of the tail is broken off the bubble explodes. The French term is larme Batavique, because these toys were invented in Holland.

“The first production of an author … is usually esteemed as a sort of Prince Rupert’s drop, which is destroyed entirely if a person make on it but a single scratch.”—Household Words.

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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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Running Thursday
Running Water
Running the Hood
Runcible Spoon (A)
Runes
Runic Rhymes
Runic Wands
Runnymede
Rupee
Rupert of Debate
Rupert’s Balls
Rupert’s Head (Sir)
Rush
Rush-bearing Sunday
Rushvan
Ruskinese
Russ
Russel
Russia
Russian
Rustam