tæfl, e; f.: es ; n.(?): tæfle, an(?); f. Properly a board for the playing of a game. But the word seems also used of a game played on such a board: cf. the use of the word tables at a later time :-- Wyþ pleyynge at tables oþer atte chekere, R. Glouc. 192, 3. Kueade gemenes of des and of tables huer me playþ nor pans, Ayenb. 45, 16. Tabulies tabella (15th cent.), Wrt. Voc. i. 202, col. 2. See also Strutt's Sports, Bk. iv, c. 2. The word seems to denote also a die used in playing a game. What was the precise nature of the games, to which this word and related forms are applied, does not appear; some of the references below would imply that games of chance are meant, and this would be in keeping with the love of gaming which Tacitus, Germ. c. 24, noticed among the Germans. But games of skill like chess may sometimes be meant. In Icelandic tafl is used of chess or draughts, as well as of dicing, and the Danes in England seem to have played chess (see Thrupp's Anglo-Saxon Home, c. xvi, sec. 7); and in O. H. Ger. scah-zabel = scacarium. Among the Welsh, too, was a game something like draughts, called tawlbwrdd (Thrupp, p. 388) :-- Tefil, tebl, teblae alea, Txts. 36, 6. Tæfl, Wrt. Voc. ii. 8, 7. Incipit de alea. Tæfl alea, ic tæfle tæflum cotizo tesseris, i. 284, 28, 31. Tæfel, 66, 47. Tæfel alea, cynningstán on tæfle pirgus (cf. O. H. Ger. zabel-bret pirgus), feðerscíte tæfel tessere vel lepusculae, 39, 45-49. Tæslum tesellum ( = tæflum tessellis? v. Wülck. Gl. 526, 5), ii. 93, 44. Dryhten dǽleþ sumum tæfle cræft, bleóbordes gebregd, Exon. Th. 331, 19; Vy 70. Sum biþ hræd tæfle, sum biþ gewittig æt wínþege, 297, 25; Crä. 73. Hý twegen sceolon tæfle ymbsittan ... habban him gomen on borde, 345, 2; Gn. Ex. 182. [Sum men pleoden on tæuelbrede (mid tauel, 2nd MS.), Laym. 8133. O. H. Ger. zabel; n. alea, wurf-zabel alea, tessera: Icel. tafl; n. a game; tafla a piece used in a game.] See the following words.