from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun rare Alternative spelling of cardsharp.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a professional card player who makes a living by cheating at card games


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • He knows a Tula cardsharper, but ask him whether he knows

    The Schoolmistress and other stories 2004

  • Such debts amounted to about four thousand: one thousand five hundred for a horse, and two thousand five hundred as surety for a young comrade, Venovsky, who had lost that sum to a cardsharper in Vronsky’s presence.

    Chapter XIX. Part III 1917

  • In any case, he was not a cardsharper, a swindler, a professional medium, or a spy.

    The Lock and Key Library The most interesting stories of all nations: Real life Arthur Cheney Train 1910

  • Lovel knew him for one Bedloe, a led-captain and cardsharper, whom he had himself employed on occasion.

    The Path of the King John Buchan 1907

  • Not that I do not say that to be 'good,' to be able to look your own ugly jowl in the face in a mirror, is pleasant enough; but, as I see the matter, it is all one to other people whether you be a cardsharper or a priest so long as you're polite, and let down your neighbours lightly.

    Through Russia Maksim Gorky 1902

  • The cardsharper lays down the twenty-four cards shown in the illustration, and invites the innocent wayfarer to try his luck or skill by seeing which of them can first score thirty-one, or drive his opponent beyond, in the following manner: --

    The Canterbury Puzzles And Other Curious Problems Henry Ernest Dudeney 1893

  • Do you know, it seems that if I really had been born a cardsharper I should have remained a decent person to the day of my death, for I should never have had the boldness to do wrong.

    The Chorus Girl and Other Stories Anton Pavlovich Chekhov 1882

  • He was probably engaged to be married or else a cardsharper.

    Letters of Anton Chekhov Anton Pavlovich Chekhov 1882

  • In any case, he was not a cardsharper, a swindler, a professional medium, or a spy.

    Historical Mysteries Andrew Lang 1878

  • Venovsky, who had lost that sum to a cardsharper in Vronsky's presence.

    Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy 1869


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  • Coincidence is a pimp and cardsharper in ordinary fiction but a marvelous artist in the patterns of fact recollected by a non-ordinary memoirist.

    --Vladimir Nabokov, 1974, Look at the Harlequins! p. 225

    June 13, 2009

  • Is this an old usage? I would say cardsharp, although the current terminology would probably be hustler, or in poker jargon, a mechanic.

    June 14, 2009

  • I wondered about that when I added the quotation. Sharper as a noun of similar meaning goes back to 1797 (OED2). Cardsharper became common in the 1850s perhaps because of the British racehorse of that name. Another possibility (inferred from the notes in the Library of America edition) is that Nabokov was echoing the ending of shuler and Schüler:

    "I have often wondered why the Russian for it cardsharper . . . is the same as the German for 'schoolboy,' minus the umlaut . . ."

    --Vladimir Nabokov, 1969, Ada, p. 175

    June 14, 2009