Chessy Words

Edward Winter


Acknowledgements: for the 1874 ‘chesser’ quote, to Jerry Spinrad (Nashville, TN, USA); for the ‘chessiad’, ‘chessic’ and ‘chessophile’ quotes, to Mark McCullagh (Belfast, Northern Ireland); for the ‘chessikin’ quote, to Thomas Niessen (Aachen, Germany); for the ‘chessist’ quote, to Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina); for the ‘chessical’, ‘chessically’, ‘chess-i-kin’ and ‘chessy’ quotes, as well as C.N. 8999, to Rod Edwards (Victoria, BC, Canada); for the ‘chesso-mania’, ‘chessophrenia’ and ‘chessophrenics’ quotes, to Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore). Information on earlier instances of any of the above words will be gratefully received, as will citations for similar words.

A few chessy words were reproduced from the Cheltenham Examiner on page 207 of the Chess Amateur, April 1908:



Rod Edwards (Victoria, BC, Canada) notes this item on page 2 of the Australasian Supplement, 21 February 1885:



Jean Fontaine (Montreal, Canada) reports that the following chessy words all come from Japanese Chess (Shō-ngi): the Science and Art of War or Struggle Philosophically Treated; Chinese Chess (Chong-kie) and I-go by Chō-Yō (New York, 1905), many of them appearing several times:


Latest update: 22 August 2020.

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