or pe·nuck·le

[pee-nuhk-uh l]


[pee-nuhk-uh l, -nok-]
  1. a popular card game played by two, three, or four persons, with a 48-card deck.
  2. a meld of the queen of spades and the jack of diamonds in this game.
Also penuchle, penuckle, pi·noc·le.

Origin of pinochle

1860–65, Americanism; < Swiss German Binokel, Binoggel < Swiss French binocle literally, pince-nez (see binocle1), probably adopted as synonym of the less current French besicles spectacles, folk-etymological alteration of bezigue bezique Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for penuckle



  1. less common spellings of pinochle


penuchle, penuckle or pinocle

  1. a card game for two to four players similar to bezique
  2. the combination of queen of spades and jack of diamonds in this game

Word Origin for pinochle

C19: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for penuckle



also pinocle, 1864, Peaknuckle, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Swiss dialect Binokel (German), binocle (French), from French binocle "pince-nez" (17c.), from Medieval Latin binoculus "binoculars" (see binocular). Taken as a synonym for bésigue "bezique," the card game, and wrongly identified with besicles "spectacles," probably because the game is played with a double deck. Pinochle was popularized in U.S. late 1800s by German immigrants.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper