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Whist

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Cotton says that “the game is so called from the silence that is to be observed in the play.” Dr. Johnson has adopted this derivation; but Taylor the Water-poet (1650), Swift (1728), and Barrington (1787) called the game Whisk, to the great discomfiture of this etymology. Pope (1715) called it whist.

⁂ The first known mention of whist in print was in a book called The Motto, published in 1621, where it is called whisk. The earliest known use of the present spelling is in Butler’s Hudibras (1663).

Let nice Piquette the boast of France remain,

And studious Ombre be the pride of Spain;

Invention’s praise shall England yield to none,

While she can call delightful Whist her own.”


Alexander Thomson: A poem in eight cantos on Whist. (Second edition, 1792.)

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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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Whig
Whiggism
Whip (A)
Whip
Whip-dog Day
Whip with Six Strings (The)
Whipping Boy
Whiskers
Whisky
Whisky-drinker
Whist
Whistle (noun)
Whistle (verb)
Whistle Down the Wind (To)
Whistle for the Wind
White
White Bird (The)
White Brethren or White-clad Brethren
White Caps
White Caps
White Caps (1891)