marbles


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.

marbles

a game in which marbles are rolled at one another, similar to bowls

Marbles

In past times Ash Wednesday kicked off the English marbles season. Throughout Lent men and boys played competitive marble games with one another. The marbles season ended on Good Friday, which was known as Marble Day in Surrey and Sussex, regions where the game was particularly popular. After that time anyone caught playing marbles might be forced to forfeit them. Some researchers believe that the practice of playing marbles on Good Friday may have come from Holland or Belgium. At least one writer suspects that the game of dice that the Roman soldiers played at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:24, Luke 23:35, John 19:24) inspired the association between marbles and Good Friday.

The village of Tinsley Green, near Crawley in Sussex, hosts a marbles championship every year on Good Friday. The competition dates back to the year 1600, when, according to legend, a local girl convinced her suitors to compete for her favor by playing a game of marbles. Today the tournament winner is declared the "Champion of Great Britain" and receives a silver cup.

Further Reading

Harrowven, Jean. Origins of Festivals and Feasts. London, England: Kaye and Ward, 1980. Hole, Christina. British Folk Customs. London, England: Hutchinson and Company, 1976. Howard, Alexander. Endless Cavalcade. London, England: Arthur Barker, 1964.

marbles

(jargon)
(From the mainstream "lost his marbles") The minimum needed to build your way further up some hierarchy of tools or abstractions. After a bad system crash, you need to determine if the machine has enough marbles to come up on its own, or enough marbles to allow a rebuild from backups, or if you need to rebuild from scratch. "This compiler doesn't even have enough marbles to compile hello, world."
References in classic literature ?
This Marble Is here placed by their surviving Shipmates.
He laid his hand on the marble forehead, for the third time.
Pretty soon a bolt was cautiously withdrawn and the marble door swung slowly open.
In this Chapel is a marble chest, in which, they told us, were the ashes of St.
while poor Margolotte stands watching me as a marble image.
There was the quarry of perfect marble on Hafler's quarter section.
A central aisle led from the doorway the full length of the great hall, terminating at the steps of a marble dais upon which a man sat in a great throne-chair.
It was upon the marble table that the mystery was to be enacted, as usual.
And yet, as she saw him coming across the marble floor of the audience chamber of Tario of Lothar, his fine eyes filled with apprehension for her safety, his splendid figure personifying all that is finest in the fighting men of martial Mars, she could not believe that any faintest trace of perfidy lurked beneath so glorious an exterior.
No sooner had they clambered up the cliff, than they discerned the tall marble towers of the palace, ascending, as white as snow, out of the lovely green shadow of the trees which surrounded it.
We must both go to bed now, and at daybreak I will call you and at once complete your transformation into a marble statue.
Its gardens and ample grounds were surrounded by a separate wall, not so high or thick as the wall around the City, but more daintily designed and built all of green marble.