Historical Word Trivia

Orlan Smith shares with us the origins and original meanings of words that may have fallen into disuse or have been redefined over time.


Playing With a Full Deck

“Playing with a full deck!”

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades…’

To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games required 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t playing with a full deck…