• synonyms


or spil·i·kin

  1. a jackstraw.
  2. spillikins, (used with a singular verb) the game of jackstraws.
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Origin of spillikin

1725–35; variant of spellican < obsolete Dutch spelleken, equivalent to spelle peg, pin + -ken -kin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spillikins

Historical Examples of spillikins

  • Leap frog is not too heavy for me and spillikins not too light.

    Mr. Scarborough's Family

    Anthony Trollope

  • One writer compares the structure to a bundle of spillikins.

  • Weymouth, a hundred and eighty years ago, was about as symmetrical as a game of spillikins in confusion.

  • One evening, Belinda was playing with little Charles Percival at spillikins.

  • So there was the situation till the war of Ninety-three came along to jumble us all up and knock everything to spillikins.

British Dictionary definitions for spillikins


  1. (functioning as singular) British a game in which players try to pick each spillikin from a heap without moving any of the othersAlso called: jackstraws
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Word Origin for spillikins

C18: from spill ² + diminutive ending. See -kin


spilikin spellican (ˈspɛlɪkən)

  1. a thin strip of wood, cardboard, or plastic, esp one used in spillikins
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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