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Poker

same word, different meanings


The word "poker" has meanings including...

Poker: fire-iron, tool for poking a fire. Usually a fireplace has a substantial main poker for prodding the burning fuel, an additional supplementary or ornamental small poker which is part of the Companion Set that also includes fire-tongs, small brush, and small sifter. Such equipment is available from Fireplace World, and other solid fuel handling equipment suppliers.

Poker: gambling card game which involves luck as well as a special subtle skill to fool the other players into making mistakes. Being able to hide your emotions is required, so as to avoid the other players being able to guess what cards you've got.

In both of these cases, if you get it wrong you can get your fingers burnt.

If you're wondering why the gambling game of cards oddly seems to have the same name as an iron rod for prodding a fire, see poker etymology. Clue: It's nothing to do with fires, and is more to do with saying in German "I insist!".

In addition to these well-known definitions for "poker", there are some others. For completeness, poker and poke are included...

Poker / Pocar: A hobgoblin, bugbear, demon. "Old Poker", The Devil.

Poker: A kind of duck. (Pochard).

Poke: To prod.

Poke: A bag, sack.

Poke: A type of bonnet, a poke-bonnet.

Pig-in-a-Poke: Something faked up to look like something it's not, as per a porker in a poke bonnet.

Poke: Something that a coat is liable to acquire if it is shoved lazily over a coat-hook rather than having the little ribbon strip inside hung up as it's supposed to be. (Presumably the distortion of the coat refers to the meaning of "poke" as in "bag").

Poke: (also Polk) ... to catch fish with a poke-net.

Poke: (also poak'e , pooke) ... smoke, like tobacco.

Poke: Virginian Poke, poke-weed, poke-berry, a plant.

Poke: poking-around, going around and poking into places.

To poke fun at: to assail with jest, banter, or ridicule, especially in a sly or indirect manner. (OED).

Poke-loken: a marsh, a river inlet that goes nowhere.

Poke-Pudding: a pudding made in a bag.

Poky: (of a building) ... small.

Poke: something that a car engine has plenty of if it can accelerate the vehicle niftily.