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Counter-caster

One who keeps accounts, or casts up accounts by counters. Thus, in The Winter's Tale, the Clown says, “Fifteen hundred shorn; what comes the wool to? I cannot do't without counters.” (Act iv. s. 3.)

And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
And I ... must be belee'd and calmed
By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster

Shakespeare: Othello, i. 1.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Counter-caster from Infoplease:

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  • William Shakespeare: Othello, Act I - Tush! never tell me; I take it much unkindly That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.
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