card of ten

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

card of ten (plural cards of ten)

  1. (obsolete, card games) A ten; by extension (apparently from its use in early card games), a bold front, an instance of standing one's ground. [15th-17th c.]
    • 1499, John Skelton, The Bowge of Courte:
      Fyrste pycke a quarell and fall oute with hym then, / And soo outface hym with a carde of ten.
    • 1561, John Awdely, The Fraternitye of Vacabondes, XIX:
      And the noblemen and gentylmen, which shold be the ponysshers of theft, be the chefe mayntayners of robry; bi this meanys often thei robbe & be not taken; but in case he be taken, eyther he shal haue fauor for his masters sake, or els bragg it owt with a carde of .x [...].
    • c. 1591, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew:
      A vengeance on your crafty withered hide, / Yet I haue fac'd it with a card of ten [...].
    • 1629, Ben Jonson, The New Inn:
      Some must be knaves, some varlets, bawds, and ostlers, / As aces, deuces, cards o' ten, to face it / Out i' the game, which all the world is.