teetotum

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n teetotum a conical child's plaything tapering to a steel point on which it can be made to spin "he got a bright red top and string for his birthday"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Teetotum A child's toy, somewhat resembling a top, and twirled by the fingers. "The staggerings of the gentleman . . . were like those of a teetotum nearly spent."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n teetotum See the extract.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
For T-totum,. It was used for playing games of chance, and was four-sided, one side having the letter T on it, standing for Latin totum, all, meaning, take all that is staked, whence the name. The other three sides each had a letter indicating an English or Latin word; as P meaning put down, N nothing or L. nil,H half. See Total

Usage

In literature:

We watched him spin round like a teetotum and kenned that he was bye with it.
"Mr. Standfast" by John Buchan
The Labour Members also believe; and tremble like a falling teetotum.
"Utopia of Usurers and other Essays" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
I whirled on him like a teetotum.
"The Depot Master" by Joseph C. Lincoln
Ask Polly; she 'll spin you round like a teetotum.
"An Old-fashioned Girl" by Louisa May Alcott
A fellow must have some reward for making a teetotum of himself.
"Rose in Bloom" by Louisa May Alcott
I do not find fault, but you turn me about like a teetotum.
"The Wandering Jew, Complete" by Eugene Sue
When he was not a teetotum he was a windmill.
"Auld Licht Idylls" by J. M. Barrie
That'll suit our purpiss to a teetotum.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
I whirled on him like a teetotum.
"The Boy Scouts Book of Stories" by Various
It is startling to see the tiny thing whirl like a reckless young teetotum.
"Lotus Buds" by Amy Carmichael
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