"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Friday, 11 January 2008

Carl Doddies

The game of Carl Doddies is played with the flower heads and stalks of the common plantain. My mother was brought up in Scotland and she must have taught us. It was said to have originated from a " beheading" game played in the Jacobite times, the names derived from Bonnie Prince Charlie, "Carl" and King George, "Doddie". You and your opponent each take a plantain flower and take it in turns to try to knock the head off their opponent's stem. Whoever beheads first is the winner. A variation is to loop the stem over itself and shoot the head as far as possible. The one that lands farthest away is the winner! .. a more civilized version of shot putting.
A more prosaic explanation of the name is simply "curly headed"

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog- so many years late! Your drawings are lovely and I smiled to read of the Carl Doddie game that we used to play in New Jersey, USA when I was a girl. We only shot the plantain heads. Thanks for a nice memory.
I plan to read all of your posts. Hope you are still on the job.
Cynthia

sharp green pencil said...

Thank you so much Cynthia. I had no idea this game was played in the USA, how lovely to get your comment. I am stillon the job but back in the UK and looking into willows !