So two days ago I mentioned that we played Tiddlywinks on Easter evening after my little sister got it in her Easter basket. I say it was a unique event because none of us realized how serious a game Tiddlywinks could be. Nor how sophisticated and difficult it is. For example did you know:

•The game originated in England sometime in the late 1800’s and was very popular in Victorian times

•The earliest patent application for the game was filed by Joseph Fincher in 1888, and the subsequent trademark application (for “tiddledy-winks”) filed in 1889

•The modern, more Cerebral, version of Tiddlywinks developed at the University of Cambridge in the mid 1950’s
•There is an English Tiddlywinks Association (ETwA) that was established in 1958
•The game became popular in the USA in 1962 when the Oxford University team undertook a tiddlywinks tour of the United States under the sponsorship of Guinness (yes, the beer people).

•There is a North American Tiddlywinks Association (NATwA) that was established in 1966

•MIT is the most dominant USA base for the game and in a tour of the UK in 1972 and upset most English winkers

•The Scottish associations disbanded in the late 1990’s

•The NATwA has a song writing committee

•There is a journal published by the ETwA called ‘Winking World’ and the NATwA has ‘Newswink’

•Words such as Squidger, Squopping, Potted Out, Gromp, Crud, Scrunge, Tiddlies, Pile Shots, and Bristols are all important terms used in Tiddlywinks

As stated by the ETwA “Tiddlywinks is much more than simply a game of manual dexterity. There are a large range of possible shots to choose from at every turn, and so tactics and strategy are important. It is often the player with the better tactics that wins the game, rather than the one who plays the best shots.”

Tiddlywinks is also a game especially suited to pairs play and as such helps develop team work and cooperative, complex strategy making. It can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it but remember to have fun playing. Of course it is especially fun when you win as my partner and I did just like we beat my Dad at Scrabble despite his best attempts to disqualify some of the words we laid out.

So now you know that while tiddling is for kids, adults like it to! For more information you can check out the Tiddlywink Wiki page. The NATwA has a great listing of Tiddlywink game suppliers. the game we used by the House of Marbles can be found on Amazon. Shopping local, the Easter Bunny got my sisters at the wonderful Marilla Country Store.

Happy Winking!


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