alley taw

alley taw n Also alley taw marble, alley tor [OED3 (at alley n.2) 1837→] ?obs Cf alley n2 1, taw n C1a, and DS EE6a–d

A large playing marble, shooter n 1; a game of marbles.

1853 MS Free Trader (Natchez) [3 May 2]/5, To set boys to robbing orchards, we could imagine nothing better than a statute against ball playing or alley taw. 1859 NY Observer (NY) 17 Feb 52/6, Mamma, I would have given all my marbles and alley-tors too, if I hadn’t done it. 1862 NY Times (NY) 21 Aug 2/2 VA, The officers of the ram Arkansas have sent to the Secretary of the Navy handfuls of glass marbles, such as the boys call ‘alleys’ or ‘alley taws,’ which were thrown out from the Yankee shells. 1884 Atlanta Constitution (GA) 22 June 2/4 neAL, He tuck and stolt my white alley taw marvel and my knife blade that day at the Cross Roads. 1955 PADS 23.10 cwTN, Alley taw (-tor, -taw). . . (tautological compound). The offensive marble, or the marble used as a shooter.