Word of the DaySunday, June 13, 1999
A large marble used for shooting in the game of marbles.
He is hiding or hoarding his Taws and Marbles.
-- Steele, Tatler No. 30, 1709
A still greater favourite is shooting a 'taw', which requires no small dexterity.
Of uncertain origin, but possibly from the letter T (in Greek tau) used as a mark. Names for other marbles: commoney, "a marble of a common sort"; ally or alley (a contraction of alabaster, of which it was originally made), a choice marble or taw; one of real marble or alabaster in contrast with those of terra cotta.
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