One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A set of three playing cards of the same denomination. "double pair-royal"noun a set of four such cards.
Late 16th century (in an earlier sense). From pair + royal. The semantic motivation for the compound is unclear; there do not appear to be models or parallels in other languages, and the postposed adjective does not seem to reflect any similar compound in French. In later use chiefly in form prial.
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