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Old Nov 1 2005, 06:50 PM   #1
B'ney
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Question Miggsy?

This children's game is mentioned in Dragonquest. Once, when Felessan and Jaxom wander the inner corridors of Benden Weyr and then again as Lessa is looking at the Red Star while at Fort Weyr. It reads: "It [Red Star] swam, a many-hued globe, like a child's miggsy, in a lush black background."

Anyone know what this game is and how it's played?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 2 2005, 12:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Miggsy?

I really have NO idea, but I'm guessing it's not so much a game as a child's toy/trinket thing. I remember having this thing that when I was very young: it was a metal ring and had another ring around its middle horizontally, and an upright bar through the middle with a hole in it, and there was a little peg that the upright ring stood on. You put a string through the hole and wind it around the bar, then stand it up and hold it in place on the top and yank the sting out, making it spin like a top, but it made it look like a lovely swirling globe.

So i don't know if that's what it really is, but it's what I thought of when I read that.
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Old Nov 2 2005, 04:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Miggsy?

i thought that it was eqivilant to a UK football (soccer ball, whatever!)/ basket ball
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Old Nov 2 2005, 05:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Miggsy?

Wow, when I was a kid, a miggsey was one of the types of marbles you could get, so I always assumed it was marbles! Don't ask me what type though!!
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Old Nov 2 2005, 05:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Miggsy?

If you do a net search on google, interestingly enough, the first hit is a Pern discussion, though I can't get it to load, you can see that's what they're talking about
Unfortunately I can't find a miggsy picture though!
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Old Nov 2 2005, 07:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Miggsy?

It won't load because that forum (Pern Alliance) has moved. Here's where that topic is now. And look, it's Anareth saying that a miggsey is a marble!
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Old Nov 2 2005, 07:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Miggsy?

Doing a little more searching, the only sites that seem to say that a miggsy is a marble are Pern sites --- marble sites never mention the name!

In particular I checked through this detailed guide: http://www.blocksite.com/mcc/guide.htm

So it seems to me to just be speculation that a miggsy is a marble, but it does seem to fit from the description of the Red Star looking like one. It needs to be something round and swirley, a "many-hued globe."


Oh, and Jax - when a googled page won't load, try clicking on their "cached" version. They won't have the graphics, but you can read the text of whatever it was that made them suggest the page as a match.
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Old Nov 2 2005, 09:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Miggsy?

Thanks Cher, I wonder why Pern sites are the only place that mention it, as I know for certain that when I was a kid one of the types of marbles I played with were miggsies...
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Old Nov 2 2005, 03:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Miggsy?

Perhaps it's an unofficial term, or perhaps it's spelled differently than Anne has it... Where's a marble expert when you need one?
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Old Nov 2 2005, 03:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Miggsy?

I thought of marbles too, don't know why. I collected them, but never really played.




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Old Nov 3 2005, 04:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Miggsy?

might sound stupid but was this before or after dq published?

before... well AMC might've heard of this game, or even know it.

after... perhaps some bright spark thought that it was a good name for a game of marbles!
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Old Nov 4 2005, 07:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Miggsy?

My American dictionary doesn't have miggsy but it does have:

- mig n. U.S> Dial. 1. A marble 2. pl. The game of marbles. Also miggle.

So, my guess is that the miggsy variation might be from Anne's own childhood. She is, after all, quite a bit older than the most of us
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Old Nov 6 2005, 01:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: Miggsy?

The only reason I knew the term was from reading it in books, and even accounting for that being a LOT of books (we have more than 5000 children's books alone in our house and it's a safe bet I read more than half; I won't even venture a guess on adult or library books) I'm thinking that I probably saw the term in older childrens' books. It is definitely referring to a particular kind of marble, my guess would be something akin to an aggie (a solid milk-glass type with swirls, rather than clear class with a cat's eye or swirls. For some weird reason a lot of gift shops around here sell marbles so I'll keep my eyes peeled and see if I can find one.)

"Mig" and "miggle", however, I haven't seen. Possibly those are a regional variation (since the notation is "dialect"), or even older than "miggsy" (which I will bet predates Anne--the Lady is venerable, but she's not ANCIENT! I suspect by the time she encountered it the term was already pretty old.)

Oh, another possibility for where I'm dredging this in the recesses of my brain--old "Peanuts" strips from the early 1950s. There was a series involving Charlie Brown and Patty (not Peppermint; rather a forerunner who was phased into a background role ca. 1970s) and Patty's marbles prowess--they were playing for keeps and, Charlie Brown being Charlie Brown, he ended up without a lot of marbles. Actually thinking that it might have also cropped up in Eunice Smith's Jennifer Hill books, which are set in the 1890s/1900s (and for whom I'm named--I think when Mom was deciding on my name, I was either going to be Jennifer or Laura and Jennifer won.)
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Old Nov 6 2005, 04:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: Miggsy?

OK, we can't have this, so I am starting t search on the internet.

First Find:http://www.authorama.com/half-past-seven-stories-6.html

Half-Past Seven Stories
By Robert Gordon Anderson


IV: The Blue Croaker, the Bright Agate, and the Little Gray Mig


Quote:
First they sorted the marbles. And when the sorting was over, each had nine of the little gray ones, which the Toyman told them were called "Migs"; two of the dappled brown ones which he said were “Croakers"; and two of the blue; three “Chineys"; three “Glasseys” with the pink and blue streaks; and one each of the most beautiful of all,–the agates. The blue and cream-colored agate Marmaduke took to match the blue M on his bag; Jehosophat the reddest one to match his letter J; and Hepzebiah the agate that looked most like a strawberry–almost pink it was, like her letter H.

(...)

Anyway, before long, the Toyman’s pile was growing less and less, while Marmaduke had nine gray marbles–we should say “migs"–one "chiney,” two brown “croakers,” one blue “croaker,” and one “glassey," and his shooter, the “pure,” of course. And Jehosophat had ten “migs," two “chimneys,” one “glassey,” two brown “croakers,” and one blue one, and his shooter. But poor little Hepzebiah had only three, counting all kinds. She began to cry, and rubbed her eyes with her two fists. But when, after a little, she stopped and looked down, why she had more marbles than any of the players
Second Find: http://www.infoplease.com/dictionary/mig

An online dictionary site (unknown to me) that unexpectedly lists "migg"

mig

Pronunciation: (mig), [key]
n. Chiefly Northern, North Midland, and Western U.S.
1. a playing marble, esp. one that is not used as a shooter.
2. migs, (used with a sing. v.) the game of marbles. Also,migg.


Third Find
: http://www.capturingmemories.com/mb-...s-WSMAlki.html

West Seattle Memories
(these memories seem dated between about mid thirties to end fifties)

Quote:
"In the classroom, boys and girls were integrated, but on the playfield never the twain did meet. The girls games of choice seemed to be rope skipping and hopscotch. The boys usually engaged in their seasonal macho type games, but to the hustlers and predators, the game of choice was migg (marbles). Fortunes were won or lost on the hard packed dirt soil on the edge of the playground next to the Schmitz Park road. Shouts of 'van steelies,' 'van doughbabes,' 'van toes,' 'van flatfleet,' and 'van fudgeknuckle' were heard and the vernacular only understood by the participants. The winners swaggered into class like movie gunslingers, the pockets of their dirty cords bulging and jingling with their spoils. The vast majority of us flat pocketed losers slunk into class, but still harbored the mistaken notion that we could someday win big."
Doug Viney



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Last edited by Hans; Nov 6 2005 at 04:59 AM.
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Old Nov 6 2005, 05:20 AM   #15
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Default Re: Miggsy?

Hmmm, I knew that there was mention of "child's miggsy" during the observation of the Red Star at Fort, but when I searched my Anne McCaffrey digital files...

Dragonquest
Quote:
No one was at the looms now, of course, with dinner being prepared, nor was anyone bathing at the large pool to one side of the Cavern, but a group of boys F’lessan’s age were gathered by the miggsy circle. One boy made a loud, meant-to-be-over-heard remark which was fortunately lost in the obedient loud cackles of laughter from the others.

(...)

None of them left, however, because neither Jaxom nor F’lessan could be located. One of Manora’s women remembered seeing them pilfering vegetables and thought they’d gone to join the boys playing miggsy.

(...)

There was the Red Star, seemingly no farther away than her arm could reach. It swam, a many-hued globe, like a child’s miggsy, in a lush black background. Odd whit-ish-pink masses must be clouds.

(...)

“It’s nothing more than a child’s miggsy,” exclaimed the Lord of Tillek. “Fuzzy. Or is it supposed to be?”

(...)

“Furthermore,” the Harper went on, “the Masterharper of Pern has no opinion, one way or another, about the Red Star — not even a verse. Because that — that — child’s miggsy scares him juiceless and makes him yearn for some of that Benden wine, right now, in limitless quantity.”
So, surprisingly there mwere meny more instances the term miggsy was used than I had anticipated. Funny though that the term is only used in Dragonquest and never in any of the other Pern books (didn't research the non-Pern titles).
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Old Nov 7 2005, 07:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: Miggsy?

why are people saying it's an old thing?? I tell you it's what I called some marbles when I was a kid, I'm not that old!! I swears!!!
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Old Nov 7 2005, 08:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Miggsy?

*pats Jax on the head and gives her a *

Thanks for all the references, Hans!
It looks like miggsy was one of Anne's preferred bits of imagery and cultural reference in DQ, which she forgot about entirely when writing later books.
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Old Nov 7 2005, 09:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: Miggsy?

I have to add that I always figured that a migsy was, as has already been stated, one of the cloudy marbles. Although I didn't play marbles officially when I was a child (officially meaning the proper rules and everything), 2 of my older brothers did and had a lot of sets (and it's funny where you find marbles - how do they get zipped up inside a cushion, for instance???) with various different colours, styles and sizes.
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Old Nov 9 2005, 11:40 PM   #19
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Default Re: Miggsy?

I must admit I automatically assumed a miggsy was a marble of some sort (something in the back of my mind is screaming 'Yorkshire dialect' at me). But then I thought Weyr was a 'real word' rather than something Anne McCaffrey made up.
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Old Nov 10 2005, 02:44 AM   #20
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Bingley, the term isn't even appearing in the Oxford dictionary. I'm under the impression that it is typical American and not English-English at all

The thing with miggsy is that we all knew or suspected a marble was meant, one reason being that we knew how to imagine how the Red Star looks But... the find seem to support that miggsy means the game of marbles, not the or a marble itself. I know, nitpicking but... that's half the fun
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Old Nov 10 2005, 05:22 PM   #21
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Default Re: Miggsy?

How about this possibility?--it's synonymous, effectively, with "doodad"?
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Old Nov 15 2005, 05:11 PM   #22
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Default Re: Miggsy?

You play the game of marbles, with a marble. You play the game of miggsy, with a miggsy.

They might also just have meant "ball", since it looked like a ball in the telescope field.
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