conkers

conker

[kong-ker, kawng-]
noun British Informal.
1.
a horse chestnut.
2.
the hollowed-out shell of a horse chestnut.
3.
conkers, a game in which a child swings a horse chestnut on a string in an attempt to break that of another player.

Origin:
1840–50; probably orig. conquer; compare conquering a game played with snail shells (the name of the game presumably later transferred to the playing pieces)

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World English Dictionary
conker (ˈkɒŋkə)
 
n
an informal name for horse chestnut

conkers (ˈkɒŋkəz)
 
n
(Brit) (functioning as singular) a game in which a player swings a horse chestnut (conker), threaded onto a string, against that of another player to try to break it
 
[C19: from dialect conker snail shell, originally used in the game]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

conkers
"child's game played with horse chestnuts," originally with snail shells, 1847, probably a variant of conquer. The goal was to break the other player's item by hitting it with yours.

conker
"snail shell," also "horse chestnut," from children's game of conkers (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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