Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An old game in which one player threw a counter on the ground, and another tried to hit it with his counter, or to get so near to it that he could span the space between them and touch both the counters.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Again, the bishop wished me to marry the niece and heiress of the Dean of Lincoln; and my uncle, the alderman, proposed to me the only daughter of old Sloethorn, the great wine merchant, rich enough to play at span-counter with moidores, and make thread-papers of bank-notes—and somehow I slipped my neck out of both nooses, and married—poor—poor Sophia Wellwood.

    Chapter XII

  • Go to, sirrah; tell the king from me, that, for his father’s sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I’ll be protector over him.

    Act IV. Scene II. The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth

  • In the outer court soldiers were playing at span-counter with silver moneys, which Gideon observing, again lifted up the voice of warning and rebuke.

    Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2)

  • Again, the bishop wished me to marry the niece and heiress of the Dean of Lincoln; and my uncle, the alderman, proposed to me the only daughter of old Sloethorn, the great wine-merchant, rich enough to play at span-counter with moidores and make thread-papers of bank-notes; and somehow I slipped my neck out of both nooses, and married — poor, poor Sophia Wellwood.

    Guy Mannering

  • Again, the bishop wished me to marry the niece and heiress of the Dean of Lincoln; and my uncle, the alderman, proposed to me the only daughter of old Sloethorn, the great wine-merchant, rich enough to play at span-counter with moidores and make thread-papers of bank-notes; and somehow I slipped my neck out of both nooses, and married -- poor, poor Sophia Wellwood.

    Guy Mannering, Or, the Astrologer — Complete

  • Go to, sirrah, tell the king from me, that, for his father's sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I'll be protector over him.

    The Second Part of King Henry VI

  • Go to, sirrah, tell the king from me, that, for his father’s sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I’ll be protector over him.

    The Second part of King Henry the Sixth

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