The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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RING-TAW
113
obsolete. It is a very good example of the oldest kind of game, choosing partners or lovers by the " lot," and may be a relic of the May-day festival, when the worship of Flora was accompanied by rites of marriage not in accord with later ideas.
Ring-taw
A rough ring is made on the ground, and the players each place in it an equal share in "stonies," or alleys. They each bowl to the ring with another marble from a distance. The boy whose marble is nearest has the first chance to " taw;" if he misses a shot the second boy, whose marble was next nearest to the ring, follows, and if he misses, the next, and so on. If one player knocks out a marble, he is entitled to " taw" at the rest in the ring until he misses; and if a sure "tawer" not one of the others may have the chance to taw. Any one's " taw" staying within the ring after being tawn at the "shots," is said to be "fat," and the owner of the "taw" must then replace any marbles he has knocked out in the ring. Earls Heaton, Yorks. (Herbert Hardy). Halliwell (Dictionary) describes this game very much as above, except that a fine is imposed on those who leave the taw in the ring. Ross and Stead (Holdemess Glossary) give this game as follows: " Two boys place an equal number of marbles in the form of a circle, which are then shot at alternately, each boy pocketing the marbles he hits." Addy (Sheffield Glossary) says, " Ring - taw" is a marble marked with a red ring used in the game of marbles. This is commonly called "ring" for short. Evans (Leicestershire Glossary) describes the game much the same as above, but adds some further details of interest. " If the game be knuckle-up the player stands and shoots in that position. If the game be knuckle-down he must stoop and shoot with the knuckle of the first finger touching the ground at taw. In both cases, however, the player's toe must be on taw. The line was thus called taw as marking the place for the toe of the player, and the marble a taw as being the one shot from the taw-line, in contradistinction to those placed passively in
VOL. II.                                                                                      H







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