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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Phrases) says it is a game played at fairs and races. It is, under the name of " Kayles," well described and illustrated by Strutt (Sports and Pastimes, p. 270, 271), which is reproduced here. It will be seen that Jamieson describes it as played with a pole or cudgel. He says this game no doubt gave origin to the modern one of "Nine-pins;" though primitively the Kayle-pins do not appear to have been confined to any certain number nor shape. . . . The Kayle-pins appear to have been placed in one row only. He also says that " Half- bowl," played in Hertfordshire, was called " Roly-poly."
Jamieson [Dictionary) gives this as " Rollie-poly," a game of nine-pins, called also Kayles. The name "Rollie-poly" was given to it because it was played with a pole, or cudgel, by which the pins were knocked over. In the West of Scotland, where this game was in great repute in olden times, it formed one of the chief sports of Fastern's-e'en, and was a favourite amusement at fairs and races. The awards for successful throwing were generally in the form of small cakes of ginger­bread, which were powerful incentives to the game, and never failed to attract players in response to the cry, "Wha'U try the lucky Kayles ? "

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