A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Handydandy

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 963

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 963

Hándydandy. n.s. A play in which children change hands and places.

See how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief! Hark in thine ear: change places, and, handydandy, which is the justice, which is the thief. Shakespeare's King Lear.

Neither cross and pile, nor ducks and drakes, are quite so ancient as handydandy. Arbuthn. and Pope's Mart. Scrib.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Pope, Alexander (393)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Handydandy." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 10, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=13617.


  1. This game involves hiding a small object in one hand (usually with both hands behind one’s back), presenting both closed fists to the player, and having the player guess in which fist the hidden object lies. A player who correctly guesses which hand holds the object typically gets to keep the object.

  2. Brandi on June 10th, 2013 at 8:50 am

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