One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A game in which two players alternately take one or more objects from one of a number of heaps, each trying to take, or to compel the other to take, the last remaining object.
- ‘Also at high school a friend of his father gave him a mechanical device with switching circuits that could play nim and other games.’
- ‘For example he devised laska, and produced an interesting modification to the rules of nim.’
- ‘Variants of Nim have been played since ancient times.’
Early 20th century: apparently from archaic nim ‘to take’ or from German nimm! ‘take!’, imperative of nehmen.
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