Online Encyclopedia

DEUCE (a corruption of the Fr. deux, ...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 116 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DEUCE (a corruption of the Fr. deux, two), a term applied to the " two " of any suit of cards, or of dice. It is also a term used in tennis when both sides have each scored three points in a game, or five games in a set; to win the game or set two points or games must then be won consecutively. The earliest instances in English of the use of the slang expression " the deuce," in exclamations and the like, date from the middle of the 17th century. The meaning was similar to that of " plague " or " mischief " in such phrases as " plague on you," " mischief take you " and the like. The use of the word as an euphemism for " the devil " is later. According to the New English Dictionary the most probable derivation is from a Low German das daus, i.e. the " deuce " in dice, the lowest and therefore the most unlucky throw. The personification, with a consequent change of gender, to der daus, came later. The word has also been identified with the name of a giant or goblin in Teutonic mythology.
End of Article: DEUCE (a corruption of the Fr. deux, two)

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