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Scratch Cradle

A game played with a piece of string stretched across the two hands. The art is so to cross the thread as to produce a resemblance to something, and for another so to transfer it to his own hands as to change the former figure into some other resemblance. A corruption of “cratch cradle” (the manger cradle), because the first figure represents a cradle, supposed to be the cradle of the infant Jesus.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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