from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as span-counter.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
But how any ones being put into a mixd herd of unruly boys, and there learning to wrangle at trap, or rook at span-farthing, fits him for civil conversation or business, I do not see.
When he had money, he went to the gaming tables about town, and when reduced by losses sustained there, would put on an old ragged coat and get out to play at chuck, and span-farthing, amongst the boys in the street, by which, sometimes he got money enough to go to his old companions again.