Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of cardsharp.

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

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

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

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

    The Schoolmistress and other stories

  • 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

  • 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

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

    The Path of the King

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Letters of Anton Chekhov

  • 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

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

    Anna Karenina

  • Gottfried is a thoroughly bad fellow, that he had been found to be a cardsharper in the Holy Land, and had been drummed out of his regiment.

    Thackeray

Comments

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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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