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[skit-l] /ˈskɪt l/
noun, Chiefly British.
skittles, (used with a singular verb) ninepins in which a wooden ball or disk is used to knock down the pins.
one of the pins used in this game.
Origin of skittle
1625-35; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skutill shuttle, arrow; Danish skyttel shuttle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for skittles


a wooden or plastic pin, typically widest just above the base
(pl; functioning as singular) Also called (esp US) ninepins. a bowling game in which players knock over as many skittles as possible by rolling a wooden ball at them
(often used with a negative) (informal) beer and skittles, an easy time; amusement
Word Origin
C17: of obscure origin; perhaps related to Swedish, Danish skyttel shuttle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for skittles

game played with nine pins, 1630s, plural of skittle, the word for the pins used in the game, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish and Norwegian skyttel "shuttle, child's toy"). But OED says there is no evidence of a connection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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