One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Zoology and Anatomy. Originally: any of the small bones of the carpus or tarsus of a horse. Later also: any of various other types of small bone or ossicle. Now rare or historical.
2In plural A game like knuckle-bones or jacks, played with the carpal or tarsal bones of a quadruped (or objects of similar size). rare.
3Veterinary Medicine. A hard or bony growth on a joint of a horse; specifically such a growth on the fetlock. Also (in plural): the condition of having such a growth or growths; periostitis in the region of the fetlock.
Late 17th century. From French osselet small bone, kind of game, swelling of the fetlock, internal bone of a fossil cephalopod from classical Latin oss-, os bone + French -let.
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