Marble Banner

Glossary of Marble Terms


A Lexicon of Mibology
Aggies Marbles slightly larger than usual size, most often of agate, sometimes of limestone. Most come from Germany, are heavy, and highly prized.
American fried Larger than average marbles, of glass, that have been heated, then iced, creating inner cracks. Used as shooters.
Ante The number of marbles agreed upon as stakes for the winner or to put into an enclosure and shot at -- for keeps.
Big ring Game similar to Ring Taw and Ringer. See Ringer.
Black Beauties Shooters usually made of obsidian or black agate. Heavy, extremely rare and prized.
Bomber Another name for Chasing or Trailing. See Trail.
Bombsie A rather unsophisticated arching, droping shot.
Boss A shooter; also short for Boss-Out, a chase game.
Bowlers Large shooters, often aggies, often of scrap glass, but just as often reflectors pried out of traffic signs. Generally regarded as prizes because of the danger inherent in securing them.
Bowling Rolling or throwing a shooter marble along the ground to hit a target. Bowling is generally popular with those who aren't much good at shooting. At the beginning of a game, players often bowl to see who goes first.
Bullseye Shooting at a hole in the groun or at the marked- off center of a designated area. Those who play it say it is a skill game; those more honest admit there's a large element of "luck."
Bumboozer A very large marble, used as a bowling shooter. Also called a Boulder, or Caboubler or Scaboulder.
Candy stripes Swirled red and white or red, white and blue marbles. Prized early German glassies.
Cats eyes Glass marbles with football-shaped wedges of color in otherwise clear glass.
Chase games Basically a game in which players chase one another's marble, trying to hit the opponent's therby winning it. Chase games neither call for enclosures -- rings, squares, triangles -- nor holes or pots. For variations of the game, see Boss-Out and Chasies.
Clams Marbles.
Clayeys Small marbles of clay. Never used as shooters but rather as target or object amrbles. Held in low esteem.
Clearance! A defensive shout which permits our to clear away roughness or debris before shooting. Such a shout negates a possible "Smoothi" penalty. See Smoothing.
Cleareys Clear glass marbles, often tinted and bubbly inside.
Clodknockers Ordinary marbles to be shot at. See Mibs.
Commies Pronounced "Comme-ee" not "Commie" as in "Commie Rat." The small marbles at which shooters are shot. See Mibs.
Commons See Commies.
Crockies See Commies.
Cunny Thumb To shoot with the knuckles off the ground. Regarded as a "sissy" way of shooting.
Dibs Clay marbles, clayeys.
Doughies Another name for clayeys.
Dubs Hitting two or more marbles out of a ring with one shot. The caroms involved make this one of the prettiest shots in championship polay. Also used as another name for Ringer.
Ducks Object marbles, to be shot at.
Edgers Marbles near the edge of the ring.
Eggies Short for "Can I borrow a few marbles?" as in "Eggies on the aggies?"
Enclosure games Also called circle games. Games in which marbles are shot within a confined area outlined on the ground. The shapes are usually geometric, most often a circle of a square. For variations of the game, see Ringer and Knuckle Box.
English To give the shooting marble backspin, causing the target marble to carom off in unexpected directions.
Eye drops Dropping a shooter directly down on an object marble. A "luck" shot.
Fens! or Fins! or Finns! An all-inclusive call by which a player can suspend all rules until he has planned his shot. A most valuable offensive ploy.
Flints Another name for aggies.
For fair Playing only for the results of a game. All of the marbles won are returned, either to their owner or to the tournament.
For keeps For keeps.
Fudging Easing your hand over the ring line before shooting. In tournament play this is cheating and carries a one-shot forfeit. Also used as a general term for cheating.
Glancing shot A shot not head on, that hits the target tangentially, then bounces off.
Glassies Glass marbles. Larger ones are used as shooters.
Globolla Giant glass marble used in bowling games.
Heggies See Eggies.
Heist To rest one's shooting hand atop the other hand. Before shooting, a call of "Heist!" is necessary. A call of "No Heist!" by another player means one is out of luck.
Histing Raising the hand from the ground before shooting. This is cheating.
Hit When a marble is knocked out of a ring.
Hole Also called pot. Holes in marbles games can vary in depth -- from the size of a twelve- year-old's heel to something dug out with a garden spade. Shallow holes are called saucers.
Hole games Games in which the object is to get marbles in a hole, out of a hole, a certain distance from a hole -- always a hole. For variations of the game, see Potty and Nucks.
Hoodles Object marbles, to be shot at.
Hunching Moving the hand forward while shooting. This is cheating too. In tournament play this means inching one's hand over the edge of the ring. Also known as fudging, and carries a one-shot penalty.
Immies Imitation agate. Initially of clay, later of ordinary glass. In Canada, milky marbles to be shot at, or in a pinch, used as substitute shooters. In eastern United States, a general term for all marbles games.
Inching See Hunching.
Jumbos See Globollas and Bowlers. Also called Caboulders.
Knuckle down To rest one or more of one's knuckles on the ground while shooting. A general term denoting the correct form for shooting. The marble should rest against the ball of the first finger rather than the crook.
Knucks down tight See Knuckle Down.
Lagging The act of tossing or shooting from the Pitch Line. Whoever comes closest to the lag line without going over it shoots first. See Pitch Line.
Lag Line A straight line tangent to, and touching, the ring in tournament play.
Little solids Small glass marbles, solid color. Used as target marbles. The marbles in Chinese checkers sets.
Lofting The act of shooting a marble through the air in an arc to hit a marble in the ring. Also called Popping.
Marker A single marble used as a target.
Marrididdles Homemade clayeys.
Mibs Object or target marbles. Also Mibbies, Mibsies, Miggs, and Miggles.
Milkies Translucent white glassies. Also called Creamies.
Miss When player fails to knock an object marble from the ring.
Monnies Another term for shooters.
Moonaggies Marbles made of carnelian. So named because when they crack, generally from the inside, moon or cresent shapes form on the surfaces. A cure for the cracks is complete submersion in grease or lard.
Pedab Another name for Doughie.
Peeries Small clear glass marbles. Often used as another name for cleareys.
Peewee A very small marble.
Pitch line A straight line opposite from and parallel with the Lag Line.
Plumpers See Trail.
Pot See Hole.
Pot marble Another name for Little Solids.
Potsies Another name for Ringer.
Potty Circular hole dug into the ground, into which marbles are shot.
Puggy Game in which marbles are shot into the Potty.
Purgy See Ringer.
Purey Small clear glass marbles, brightly colored. Highly prized and genrally worth from two to five clayeys.
Rainbow mibs Target marbles.
Rainbow reeler A multi-colored shooter.
Realies Real marble marbles, as opposed to glass. Thought to be another name for moonaggies.
Ringer The "official" marbles game as played in the National Marbles Tournament. It is played by placing 13 marbles in the form of a cross in the middle of a 10-foot- diameter ring. Shooters shoot from the ring's edge and knock marbles out of the ring. The first player scoring seven hits wins.
Ring taw Another name for Ringer.
Rollsies! A defensive call to force a player to roll his shooter in a bowling marbles game rather than throw it.
Roundsters Circling around the playing ring, seeking the best shooting position. Also called Rounders.
Scaboulder See Globolla.
Scrapper A glass marble made from scrap glass. Some Bowlers are Scrappers.
Scrumpy knuckle To shoot wiht the knuckles off the ground. Another name for Cunny Thumb.
Shooter The agate marble shot at other marbles. Generally slightly larger then the ordinary run of glassies. Most are made in Germany and appear to find their way here by osmosis.
Shooting Also called firing, flicking, pinching, dribbling, pinking, dribbying, drizzying, throwing or bowling. See Knuckle Down.
Shot Snapping the marble from the hand with the thumb from where it is held against the ball of the first finger. Knucks, of course, must be down.
Smokies Glassies with puffs of color inside.
Smoothing Leveling off, removing obstacles from the ground before shooting. Forbidden, and carries a one-shot penalty.
Slip Misplay when marble falls from the hand. Player reshoots.
Snooger A near miss.
Solid peewees Term for the 13 marbles in the center of the championship ring.
Spannies A shooting distance. The measurement between the tip of the thumb to the tip of the middle finger when stretched apart.
Steeley Usually a ball bearing. Popular as a shooter in the World War II era. It helped to have a father who worked in a defense plant.
Stick When a shooter's marble stops inside the ring after knocking a target marble out of the ring. The shooter may shoot continually if he continues to stick.
Sticker Object or target marble.
Sugar To rough up a shooter either on concrete or with sandpaper to afford oneself a better grip.
Taw Another name for a shooter.
Three-finger-flat Player shoots with the thumb and first finger while keeping his three other fingers flat to the ground.
Throwsies Common sort of shooting in bowling-type games.
Toe-bombsie Using the toe height to shoot from in bowling games. Very expert, achieves bouncing caroms.
Trail General term for marbles games in which shooters follow each other as they move from one location to another. Also known as Chasing, Plumpers, and scores of other names.
Walk As in "Take a Walk." When a player walks through the ring in a match. He must give up one of the marbles he has won if he does this.
Waters Clear glass marbles.
Zebras Glass marbles with white and black swirls. Common in New York City, rare elsewhere. Prized as shooters.
Zulu golf One of many terms for games in which players shoot into a series of holes dug into the ground.

Song: "Hakuna Matata"