Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/74

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. x. JULY 20, 1902.


gate, and if none were scattered there another homminy' was repeated and the wish expressed that they might have no good luck and no offspring."

I do not remember seeing an account elsewhere of the formal revocation of the good wishes where largesse was not given. Two or more articles referring to this subject have recently appeared in your columns, but they are hidden under titles that do not disclose their nature to the student of social customs. I venture, with diffidence, to suggest that the heading of this note is that under which such a student would expect to find the information, and to beg that a complete set of references to this odd insti- tution may be collected under it by the kindness of those who are acquainted with the riches of the stores of ' N. & Q.'

O. O. H.

[The articles to which O. O. H. refers will be found at 9 th S. vii. 273; ix. 386.]

PAM = KNAVE OF CLUBS. This subject was discussed in a previous series of 'N. & Q.,' where two derivations of Pam are mentioned the older one from palm, and a newer one from pamphile, both of which are contained, as alternatives, in the 'Encyclopaedic Dic- tionary, (1881-1889). I have had occasion to go into the matter, to come to a conclusion for my own purposes as to which derivation was right ; and below I give the result in its draft form. It is desirable that the ' New English Dictionary,' which is approaching the word, should make a definite and correct choice between the two derivations one, at least, of which must be wrong. I would have sent the editors these particulars direct, as a possible help, only that some of your corre- spondents might be able to say something more in the way of addition or correction.

Pam is the knave of clubs in the game of five-card loo, or pam loo, as it is sometimes called. Dr. Johnson, in his ' Dictionary ' (1755), derived the term as coming " probably from palm, victory ; as trump from triumph ; in which he is supported by Ash in his dic- tionary, twenty years later. PROF. SKEAT writes in ' N. & Q.' (7 th S. i. 358) :

"It is surprising that Johnson's 'Dictionary' should be seriously consulted for etymologies. His derivation of Pam from palm, because Pam triumphs over other cards, is extremely comic. Of course, Pam is short for Pamphile, the French name for the knave of clubs ; for which see Littre's 4 French Dictionary.' "

Littre, however, only says that the card is so called in the game of pamphile, where it (Pamphile, like Pam in loo) is the principal trump. Considering that loo is a much older


game than pamphile (which is first described in the continental Academic of 1756, while loo, under its old title of lanterloo, appears in the 'Compleat Gamester' of 1674), and that not only does Pope more than forty years previously refer to Pam in connexion with loo in his well-known 'Kape of the Lock '(1712)

Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'er-

threw, And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu,

but also that the term is defined as the knave of clubs still earlier in the 'Dictionary of the Canting Crew ' (1690), while some old writers actually spell it Palm* the professor must be regarded as putting the cart before the horse, and the doctor's derivation accepted as the correct one at least, until a better is found. The game of pamphile is a variation of the French game of mouche, and both are undoubtedly taken from loo. In fact, the original name of loo is found in the descrip- tion of pamphile. Even if it were conceivable that pamphile was contemporaneous with, or previous to loo, it would be highly improbable that the then undescribed foreign game would be so familiarly known in England as to originate a nickname in another game. From the foregoing facts it is fifty times more probable that "pamphile" was derived from Pam than " Pam " frompamphile.

J. S. McTEAR. [See 7 th S. i. 228, 317, 358.]

BORN ON THE FIELD OF WATERLOO. At a time when we are so far, far away from the period of "Boney" and "Old Nosey," it may, perhaps, be of some slight interest to allude to a small incident, as reported in the columns of the Weekly Irish Times, 28 June, and doubtless in many another paper :

" It was claimed the other day for Mrs. Moon, of Rolvenden, Kent (whose portrait the King recently accepted), that she was the last survivor of Waterloo, but it appears she must now share this honour with at least one other subject of His Majesty a respectable old man named William Battersby, living near High Wycombe, in Bucking- hamshire, who actually first saw light on the field of Waterloo two days before the memorable battle! Mr. Battersby, who last week celebrated his eighty- seventh birthday, was the son of a sergeant in the 32nd Foot (Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry), attached to Picton's Brigade. During the sergeant s absence his wife, who had gone over as a military nurse, gave birth to a boy, who in time grew as tall as his father six feet. The son never joined the army, but followed the trade of a shoemaker."

HERBERT B. CLAYTON.

  • For instance, the writer of the essays in the

1 Annals of Gaming.'