Wednesday WOLF - In Spades

I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF. Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.


I'm a pretty decent poker player, and the history of card suits is rather fascinating. If you've ever heard the phrase "in spades" - meaning that someone has something in abundance, or an extravagance - comes from the game of Bridge, where Spades is the highest suit.

But why is it called a spade in the first place? It's got nothing to do with shovels, just FYI. Decks of playing cards originated in Asia, arriving in Italy, Spain and Germany before making their way to England. Early versions of playing cards had different suits in different countries. In Italy the suits were Cups, Swords, Coins and Batons, which became Anglicized to our more familiar Hearts, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs.

The Italian word for is spada, which the French and English converted to Spades.