One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A game in which a two-headed top is thrown up and caught with a string stretched between two sticks.
- ‘The routines include religious folk and aboriginal dance, martial arts along with diabolo playing and shuttlecock kicking.’
- ‘In particular, the inclusion of the diabolo and skipping rope routines are so infused with childish jubilance that they thrust the audience right back into the playground of their own childhood.’
- ‘Mr Collins performed again on Monday, this time demonstrating his juggling and diabolo talents.’
- ‘After the show, children were given the chance to try juggling, plate spinning and diabolo for themselves.’
- ‘Quidam features a variety of incredible circus acts, including the German wheel, banquine, Spanish webs, diabolos, aerial contortion in silk and, of course, a trio of crazy clowns.’
- 1.1count noun The wooden top used in the game of diabolo.
- ‘They were very clever, only dropped one diabolo, and juggled and did acrobatics with the diabolos in time to the music.’
- ‘In Quidam a group of alarmingly young-looking Chinese girls manipulate the diabolos while flinging themselves about.’
Early 20th century: from Italian, from ecclesiastical Latin diabolus ‘devil’; the game was formerly called devil on two sticks.
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