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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BACKS, n.3 A word used by schoolboys when playing marbles.Slg.1 1932:
If when a boy was preparing to play, his opponent cried, “Full through the ring, knickle doon, nae backs,” the player must keep his knuckle close to the ground, and put force enough into his shot to send the “bool” through the ring, and was allowed only one shot (nae backs = no second shot). But if the player was first to cry “backs,” he claimed a second shot if the first was a failure.

[Formed from the adv. back.]

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"Backs n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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