true bubbles & Merry Andrew cards

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Sep 4 21:26:45 UTC 2011

On 9/4/2011 4:37 PM, George Thompson wrote:
> ....
>             Also, an ad from a grocer who had just received a shipment of
> stuff, which he lists in two columns.  In the midst of a very miscellaneous
> stock, he offers Merry Andrew cards.  What the hell were they?  (I know what
> a "Merry Andrew" was.)
> Because it's an item from a list, there is no context.  I am giving the
> items just above and below, which don't clarify anything.
>              THOMAS ROACH, In Water-street, No. 942, next but one to the
> corner of the Fly-Market, has for sale wholesale and retail, [Madeira,
> sherry, port, claret, rum, and groceries, spices; also ". . .
> Irish and Scotch snuff,
> Chambers best smoaking tobacco,
> Merry Andrew cards,
> Raisins and currants,
> Olives, capers,
> Anchovies. . . "]
>              New-York Gazette; and W Mercury, September 1, 1777, p. 4

Looks like a type of playing cards. Multiple examples can be found by
Google. For example (apparently from 1832):

... where there is an advertisement for different types or brands of
playing cards (lower right) including "Superfine Eagle", "Harry Eighth",
"Fulton", "Highlanders", and "Merry Andrew".

A "Merry Andrew" designation for some sort of cards still (or again)
exists, apparently.

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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