Snaking the Deck

Apparently, snaking the deck is a slang term for marking a deck of cards in gambling. Anyone with any sense or intelligence would regard this as an English term based on the legendary untrustworthiness of snakes. By snaking the deck, you make it dishonest.

Daniel Cassidy, author of the ludicrous book, How The Irish Invented Slang, didn’t have any sense or intelligence. He chose to attribute the origins of this phrase to the verb snoíochán, which he defines as: “marking, clipping, cutting, meddling with (a deck of cards).

Now, when you look on page 1076 of Dinneen’s dictionary (as per Cassidy’s reference), you find that the word referred to by Cassidy is spelled snoidheachán and is defined as ‘act of carving, whittling or planing.’ There is no reference to marking or clipping, nothing about decks of cards. I wonder how far you would get in Las Vegas if you tried to mark the cards by ‘carving, whittling or planing’?

As usual with this insane catalogue of nonsense, Cassidy’s definition of snaking the deck is all my asp and a load of old cobras.


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