By Cindy Walker Burton
Quitsies. Keepsies, Goli Gundu. Are these new Marvel movie characters? Is it the Macanese language for one, two, three? People in a Harry Potter novel? Or are they Australian cities near Collangata? If you chose any of the above, you’re wrong. They are all terms used in the old-fashioned, much overlooked game of marbles. Quitsies allows any opponent to stop the game without consequence. Goli Gundu is a Tamil term used for playing marbles. Keepsies is a variation in which players win marbles used by their opponents. Marbles, you ask? Who plays with marbles these days? Personally, I don’t know of anyone who plays marbles (or owns any), but marbles are collected for nostalgic and aesthetic appeal. I had them as a child and created my own games. Here are some interesting (believe it or not) marvelous marble facts.
The largest marble in a grouping is referred to as a boulder or matris. Consider this: small marbles are a half inch across and monster marbles are 12 inches across. Marbles were originally made from clay or marble, followed by stone, glass, ceramic, and metal. Marbles were common in the 18th century and mass produced in the 1860s. The most popular kind of marble? Glass. Finally, collecting marbles isn’t as easy as sorting by color or size. They are collected according to the artisan, style, material, existence of original packaging, condition, and scarcity. If there are any marble fanatics reading this, you may wish to visit these websites (for profit or for fun):,, Collectible marbles are sold on the internet for the truly manic marbleholic.
So, have YOU lost your marbles, or are they still lying around? They may be worth some dollars in addition to precious memories. Isn’t that “marbelous?”