Amazing, the way dialects emerge among people who share a common interest. Listen to the banter of any profession or hobby. You will hear a lingo. Common words are given special meanings unique to that endeavor, resembling members-only passwords. Like most everyone, I use various vernaculars. Some of my favorites are Musicianian, Bridgese, Scrabblebabble, and Chessish. But the best lingo, by far, is Pokerspeak.
A musician might say, “Play the nine on the four chord so it remains uncolored and doesn’t clash with the flatted third.”
A bridge player might say, “Take care to rectify the count, then if the lady on your left is stacked, you can squeeze her.”
A scrabble player might say, “I was working out on a xyst, over by the quay, when a yak ate my fez, so I threatened it with a zax.”
A chess player might say, “I think it is your turn.”
And what might a poker player say? Well, some folks outside our world think of poker players as rough and tough and ready to rumble. Our lingo does nothing to dispel this stereotype. Play along with me here, and try to imagine you are a regular person. Pretend you have no idea what words like “fold” and “diamonds” mean to a poker player. Then one day you overhear this story being told:
“Some guy limped in with rags, suited up. I woke up with two cowboys, so I popped him. I’d been beating him up all night. He was stuck …