from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A game in which the players shove or drive by blows of the hand pieces of money or counters toward certain marks, compartments, or lines marked on a table.
  • noun The table or board on which the game of shovel-board is played; also, the groat, shilling, or other coin used in the game.
  • noun A game played on shipboard by pushing wooden or iron disks with a crutch-shaped mace or cue so that they may rest on one of the squares of a diagram of nine numbered squares chalked on the deck.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A board on which a game is played, by pushing or driving pieces of metal or money to reach certain marks; also, the game itself. Called also shuffleboard, shoveboard, shovegroat, shovelpenny.
  • noun A game played on board ship in which the aim is to shove or drive with a cue wooden disks into divisions chalked on the deck; -- called also shuffleboard.

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

  • noun Alternative form of shuffleboard.

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

  • noun a game in which coins or discs are slid by hand across a board toward a mark
  • noun a game in which players use long sticks to shove wooden disks onto the scoring area marked on a smooth surface


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • She disregarded the laws governing tavern hours, and stayed open late into the night, allowing her customers, some only in their teens, to drink and play the forbidden game of shovelboard, carousing loudly enough to disturb the neighbors' sleep.

    History of American Women

  • One night in 1686, Christine Trask, a neighbor, stormed into the tavern and threw the shovelboard pieces into the fire.

    History of American Women

  • ABIGAIL: I have once or twice played the shovelboard.

    The Crucible

  • Sits next to her: No, no, but I hear only that you go to the tavern every night, and play shovelboard with the Deputy Governor, and they give you cider.

    The Crucible

  • And a new smooth shovelboard, whereon no victuals ne'er stood;

    English Songs and Ballads

  • Henry Cabot Lodge says the shovelboard of Shakespeare's time was almost the only game not expressly prohibited.

    Customs and Fashions in Old New England

  • And then she told that she was born in a farmhouse like that on the hill, and would like to know if they roasted groats and played at shovelboard there still; and ended by showing them her little silver tankard, which her godfather the jolly miller had given her, and out of which her elder sister, who had never taken kindly to tea, had drunk her ale and her aniseed water.

    Girlhood and Womanhood The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes

  • The shilling of Edward the Sixth acquired this popular name from being so large and flat, that it was found convenient for use in the game of shovelboard.

    It Might Have Been The Story of the Gunpowder Plot

  • Ay -- an Edward shovelboard [Note 5], and a new shilling o 'King James, and three groats o' Queen Bess -- that's not fairy silver, I 'count.

    It Might Have Been The Story of the Gunpowder Plot

  • Then we had chess for those who played it, whist, cribbage, books, backgammon, and shovelboard.

    American Notes


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