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See also: ablewhackets

Contents

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

Possibly from able, as in able seaman, and whack.

NounEdit

able whackets pl (plural only)

  1. (nautical slang, now historical) Blows on the hand from a knotted or twisted handkerchief, especially given as a punishment to the loser of certain card games. [from 18th c.]
    • 1905, John Masefield, Sea Life in Nelson's Time, IV:
      The chief amusement or game in use in the midshipmen's berth, was ‘able whackets’, a pastime in which cards, blasphemy, and hard knocks were agreeably mingled.
    • 2008, Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies, Penguin 2015, p.15:
      Instead of the usual sailors' games of cards and ablewhackets, there was the clicking of dice, with games of parcheesi unfolding on chequerboards of rope […].

ReferencesEdit

  • Grose, Francis (1788) A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue[1], 2nd edition, page 1
  • Farmer, John Stephen (1890) Slang and Its Analogues[2], volume 1, page 6

AnagramsEdit