Q: "Turn the double corner"; and not in OED

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 21 04:37:48 UTC 2013

>From the data provided, plus Wikipedia article, my WAG of a backgammon-like
game is based on the following:
(1) Tavern-haunting, <<In a tavern "sat <several men> (should only be
two)>> gambling, <<with 6 or 8 more>> kibbitzing/side-betting.
(2) Checkers/draughts: primarily game of skill, not much thrill of
gambling. Checkers is for old men in barber shops.
(3) Backgammon & congeners involve strategy & luck (dice-throws). What's a
tavern without a backgammon game?
(4) "You take the dye tub, you the churn, / And I'll the double corner
turn."  <<turning the double
corner>>  IMO, put die (to choose who begins) or dice (to move) in cup,
turn the doubling cube for doubled bet, et laissez les bons temps rouler.
Incidentally, the backgammon board has only two corners to move past, the
other two corners are in the two home boards (no movement past).
(5) "Obviously, therefore, the proper plan is, for the player with the
superior force to reduce his adversary to a single King, drive him into the
double corner, and win." This has to do with the configuration of the
checkerboard. There are two corners where there are are two black squares
for a cornered king to move in, until the superior force can flush him out
and dethrone him.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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