1653.2

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Early Use of "Cricket" Seen in Rabelais Translation

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"So far as is known, the first mention [of the word "cricket"] occurs in Sir Thomas Urquhart's translation of the works of Rabelais, published in London in 1653, where it is found enumerated as one of the games of the Gargantua."

Editorial, "The Pedigree of Cricket," The Irish Times, 5/9/1931. Reprinted in The Times, 5/9/2001. From the MCC Library collection.

Caveat: We now have at least four pre-1653 claims to the use of "cricket" and similar terms: see #1598.3, #1598.4, #1611.1, #1622.1, and #1629.2 above. Note: Rabelais' "games of Gargantua" is a list of over 200 games supposedly played at one sitting by the fictional character Gargantua. Urquhart's translation includes several familiar pastimes, including cricket, nine-pins, billiards, "tip and hurl" [?], prison bars, barley-break, and the morris dance . . . along with many games that appear to be whimsy and word-play ["ramcod ball," "nivinivinack," and "the bush leap"]. Not included are: club ball, stick ball, stoolball, horne billets, nine holes, hat ball, rounders, feeder, or base ball. Francis Rabelais - Completely Translated into English by Urquhard and Motteux (the Aldus Society, London, 1903), pp 68-71. Text chased down by John Thorn, email of 1/30/2008.

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