from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A game in which a person, on finding a double-kernelled almond or nut, may offer the second kernel to another person and demand a playful forfeit from that person to be paid on their next meeting. The forfeit may simply be to exchange the greeting "Good-day, Philopena" or it may be more elaborate. Philopenas were often played as a form of flirtation.
- n. The occasion on which a philopena is forfeited; the forfeit paid.
- n. A nut or almond with a double kernel, as used to set a philopena.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A present or gift which is made as a forfeit in a social game that is played in various ways; also, the game itself.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A custom or game of reputed German origin: two persons share a nut containing two kernels, and one of them incurs the obligation of giving something as forfeit to the other, either by being first addressed by the latter with the word philopena at their next meeting, or by receiving something from the other's hand, or by answering a question with yes or no, or by some other similar test as agreed upon.
- n. The salutation in the game or custom thus described.
- n. The kernel of the nut used in the game.
The origin of philopena is unclear. Despite its appearance, it is not formed from classical roots. The traditional game seems to have originated in Germany, and to have included a formulatic greeting, Gutenmorgen Vielliebchen ("Good morning, sweetheart"), with Vielliebchen being accepted into French as a proper name, and the game's tag becoming "Bonjour Philipine". (Wiktionary)