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jackstraw

[jak-straw] /ˈdʒækˌstrɔ/
noun
1.
one of a group of strips of wood or similar objects, as straws or toothpicks, used in the game of jackstraws.
2.
jackstraws, (used with a singular verb) a game in which players compete in picking up, one by one, as many jackstraws as possible without disturbing the heap.
3.
Obsolete.
  1. a straw-stuffed figure of a man; scarecrow; straw man.
  2. an insignificant person.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; after Jack Straw, name or nickname of one of the leaders of the rebellion headed by Wat Tyler in 1381 in England
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for jackstraws

jackstraws

/ˈdʒækˌstrɔːz/
noun
1.
(functioning as sing) another name for spillikins
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for jackstraws

game of skill, played by both children and adults, with thin wooden sticks or with straws or matches. In the early 18th century sticks were made of ivory or bone; later they were made of wood or plastic.

Learn more about jackstraws with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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