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TEETOTUM, a form of top, used in various games of chance; the body is of polygonal shape, marked with letters or numbers, which decide the result of the game, according to the side which remains uppermost on the fall of the top after spinning. Strutt, who was born in 1749, mentions (Sports and Pastimes) the teetotum as used in games when he was a boy. It seems that in its earliest form the body was square, marked on the four sides by the letters A. (Lat. aufer, take up or away), indicating that the player takes one from the pool, D. (Lat. depone, put down), when a fine has to be paid, N. (Lat. nihil, nothing), and T. (Lat. Mum), when the whole pool is taken. Other accounts give such letters as P.N.D. (dimidium, half), or H. and T. or other combinations of letters.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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