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Terry Foreman   Link to this

Bas-de-page scene showing four men playing at bob-cherry.

Image taken from Queen Mary Psalter.

Originally published/produced in England (London?); circa 1310-1320. http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?image...

CGS   Link to this

Samuells entry predates OED, showing childish pursuits existed long before being deemed worthy of comment.

first reference to game in the OED be

4. Comb., as bob-a-cherry transf. attrib.
(cf. bob-cherry);
bob-apple, a game in which children bob for apples, either floating in water, or suspended;
bob-cherry, a game in which the player tries to catch with his teeth a cherry suspended at the end of a string;
bob-chin, one who bobs his chin;
bob-fly, in angling, a second artificial fly that bobs on the surface of the water, to indicate the position of the end-fly;
bob-up attrib., that bobs up;
bob-wood, a bob or float used with a harpoon.

1681 Reply Mischief of Imposit. 2 To see their Children play at *Bob-apple.

1614 B. JONSON Barth. Fair, Keepe it during the Fayre, *Bobchin.

1697 W. DAMPIER New Voy. (1699) I. 35 At the other end of his staff [for a Harpoon] there is a light piece of wood called *Bob~wood, with a hole in it, through which the small end of the staff comes.

1899 T. S. MOORE Vinedresser, etc. 19 ‘Kisses sadly blown across the sea..*Bob-a-cherry kisses 'neath a tree{em}'O, give me one.’

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