Friday, October 22, 2010

Nurdling (not to be confused with nerding, which is different altogether)

According to Wikipedia, the Jackson Stops Inn at Stretton hosts the World Nurdling Championships evey Late May Bank Holiday (so there is also a bank in Rutland?) in which 13 old pennies (I'm guessing they mean pennies of the old money, not aged coins) are hurled into a hole drilled into the seat of an oaken settle. (Guessing a settle is a bench or big chair.)

Sounds like really great fun. They claim the traditional game of Nurdling dates back to the Middle Ages.

The champion is called the "Best Tosser".

This has got to be a joke. (Having me on, they are. Well. we'll just see about that.)

(more) Observations, from an American viewpoint:

1. I would want to know how big the drilled hole is. Here I am assuming a "settle" is not an outdoor loo. If it is, then I guess the holes would be standardized and pretty easy to "hurl" pennies into, even if drunk. Plus you wouldn't have to bother retrieving the pennies, I suppose.

2. I think the word "hurl" is not apt. Not if the contestants are called tossers.

3. Is a new settle drilled every year? Or is there a royal and ancient settle from the middle ages?

Come to think of it, we used to toss pennies for sport too. As 12 year olds, not grown tossers. We didn't know it was an ancient game so we used an ashtray on a table instead of drilling holes in the furniture.

Am I talking to myself? Hello? Is this thing on? I feel alone right now. Perhaps the topic of this post has something to do with the lonely feeling. Or maybe it is the stigma of trying to make Rutland sound interesting. Sort of a weird feeling. Jenny say kwah, you know? (That's American for je ne sais quoi.) But it is almost Halloween, so that might be it.

What else? I think there are no extra points for tactical awareness (being awake) as in cricket. (And in the final analysis nurdling IS a cricket term.) I'm also pretty sure the rules said you have to bleat when you hurl, but don't quote me because I don't want to go back and look it up again. Bleating might be a whole different game, knowing the English. And something about Eric Idle, but I am fuzzy on that part. Maybe not Nurdling. Maybe just Rutland in general. I know he's not from Rutland, but I'm pretty sure he probably made fun of Rutland.

Did you know there are no cars allowed in Rutland? (Perhaps an urban legend) but for sure no trains to London until recently.)

There is a school, I'm told, in Uppingham. But apparently they don't teach about London since you can't get there from Rutland. I'm told it is a public school, which, of course, means it is a private school in the British language. Am I right?

Please don't confuse the Dorset Variation of nurdling to be connected to this post.


  1. You're right - a settle was a wooden bench next to the giant fireplaces they used to have.

    Funny post.

  2. Nurdling, tossing pennies, is the grown up version of shove ha'penny. With inflation.

  3. "BritishSpeak" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope you like the image I featured, and I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

  4. Sorry. I dozed off there in front of the blazing fire. So cozy. Cosy. Whatever. Stop throwing old pennies at me!

  5. What can you tell me about the acorns? Something to do with that tree holding the warrier's family jewels?



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