It has been very stormy here for the last day or so, and as a result the pack of cards has come out to while away the evenings. Whilst playing, the thought struck me on the odd words and names describing various cards.
devil’s bed-post (c.1835) the four of clubs, held to be unlucky
grace-card (Irish mid 19C) the six of hearts in cards
curse of Scotland (early 18C) the nine of diamonds (diamonds imply royalty and traditionally every ninth king of Scotland has been considered a tyrant and a curse to that country)
blankets (1915) the tens in a pack of cards (from the rolling of blankets in the military in tens for the convenience of transport)
noddy (Gloucestershire) the knave
suicide king the king of hearts (as the fifteenth-century French picture shows him about to impale himself on his sword)