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teetotum

[ tee-toh-tuhm ]
/ tiˈtoʊ təm /
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noun

any small top spun with the fingers.
a kind of die having four sides, each marked with a different initial letter, spun with the fingers in an old game of chance.

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Origin of teetotum

1710–20; earlier T totum, alteration of totum name of toy (<Latin tōtum, neuter of tōtus all) by prefixing its initial letter, which appeared on one side of the toy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for teetotum

teetotum
/ (tiːˈtəʊtəm) /

noun archaic

a spinning top bearing letters of the alphabet on its four sides
such a top used as a die in gambling games

Word Origin for teetotum

C18: from T totum, from T initial inscribed on one of the faces + totum the name of the toy, from Latin tōtum the whole
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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