Pisha Paysha Hand Game Remembered #galicia


Dick Plotz
 

Carole Glick recalled a string game perhaps >from eastern Galicia, called
"Pisha Paysha".

In my Litvak (Suwalk Gubeniya) family, the name "Pisha Paysha" referred to
a card game in which the object was to give away all your cards by forming
ascending or descending sequences. I was always told that the name of the
game was not Yiddish at all, but was a corruption of "Peace and Patience",
certainly a requirement for this nearly interminable game.

If the name really does derive >from English, and is used in two families
from widely divergent geographic origins to refer to two very different
games, its significance for genealogical purposes is likely to be minimal
to nonexistent.

Too bad!

Dick Plotz
Providence RI USA


Shaul and Aviva Ceder <ceder@...>
 

In "The Joys of Yiddish", Leo Rosten described how he had puzzled over the
origin of the name of "Pisha Paysha", until he had opened up a book on card
games published in England, and at random came to the page describing a
game called "Pitch and Patience" (sometimes called "Peace and Patience").
It doesn't seem to bear much relationship to the hand game described by
Carole (though it does tally with Rosten's description), but it seems to
limit the likelihood that it was actually known in Eastern Europe.

Shaul Ceder
Jerusalem, Israel


Sally Bruckheimer
 

It is Cat's Cradle, Yiddish style. I never knew it as
a 'Jewish' game, but it is a common enough game in the
US and, I think, most of the world.

I've seen it played in Africa on National Geographic.

Sally Bruckheimer
Harrison, NY


steve e <stevee21nospam@...>
 

That is strange - I remember Pisha Paysha as a card game that my
grandmother used to play with me - don't ask me how it was played - that
time is longer ago than I really want to admit. The game you are
referring to was called Cat's Cradle when I was growing up in New York -
and I never played because I never felt comfortable with it.

Steve
Houston

<snip>
the game my grandmother taught us called (phonetically), "pisha
paysha", in which a string is tied, creating a circle. The
circle is tautly placed outside both upright hands which
face each other. <snip>
How does this relate to genealogy? I suspect this game
was known by different names which may identify the
geographic region in which it was played. "Pisha paysha"
was probably played in eastern Galicia, since my
grandmother came >from Drohobycz. If she learned it in her
childhood, then the game was played in the 1890s.


Shlomo Wygodny <wygodny@...>
 

Carole,
The game you mentioned is called in Israel "Savta Soreget" (Knitting
Grandmother) and I just showed it to my daughter last week. I think I know
about 7 shapes before you get into a loop of repeating shapes.

- Shlomo

The thread which dealt with the hand game of Yiddish
rhyming, pinching, and tickling brings to mind the game my
grandmother taught us called (phonetically), "pisha
paysha", in which a string is tied, creating a circle. The
circle is tautly placed outside both upright hands which
face each other. Without recalling exactly how, I
remember shapes being created >from the string with a
finger >from each hand, each player taking a turn creating
a new geometric shape while easing the string off the
previous player's hands onto his/her own.
<snip>


Debbie Raff
 

I thought that Pisha Paysha was a card game, which I played as a child. At
this point, I can't remember how it is played, but I thought it involved
cards and possibly pennies.

Are you referring to "String Figures" similar to the ones on this website,
perhaps? http://personal.riverusers.com/~busybee/main.htm

Debbie Raff
California
________


How does this relate to genealogy? I suspect this game
was known by different names which may identify the
geographic region in which it was played. "Pisha paysha"
was probably played in eastern Galicia, since my
grandmother came >from Drohobycz. If she learned it in her
childhood, then the game was played in the 1890s.
Do any other Genners recall this game? By what name did
you know it? >from what geographic region did those who
played it come?
<snip>


Ida & Joseph Schwarcz <idayosef@...>
 

You are describing a form of cats cradle. I had never heard of Pisha Peysha
except >from my cousin who told me it was a card game.
Ida


Arlene <aparnes@...>
 

I remember my grandmother playing Pisha Pasha -- a card game...Cat's Cradle
wa a game with string and is still very much around today for the kids to
play....
Arlene
Arlene Parnes, Orlando
aparnes@earthlink.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sally Bruckheimer"
It is Cat's Cradle, Yiddish style. I never knew it as
a 'Jewish' game, but it is a common enough game in the
US and, I think, most of the world.

I've seen it played in Africa on National Geographic.

Sally Bruckheimer
Harrison, NY


Carole Glick Feinberg <feincgs@...>
 

Dear Friends,

The thread which dealt with the hand game of Yiddish
rhyming, pinching, and tickling brings to mind the game my
grandmother taught us called (phonetically), "pisha
paysha", in which a string is tied, creating a circle. The
circle is tautly placed outside both upright hands which
face each other. Without recalling exactly how, I
remember shapes being created >from the string with a
finger >from each hand, each player taking a turn creating
a new geometric shape while easing the string off the
previous player's hands onto his/her own.

How does this relate to genealogy? I suspect this game
was known by different names which may identify the
geographic region in which it was played. "Pisha paysha"
was probably played in eastern Galicia, since my
grandmother came >from Drohobycz. If she learned it in her
childhood, then the game was played in the 1890s.

Do any other Genners recall this game? By what name did
you know it? >from what geographic region did those who
played it come?

I guess it's time I taught "pisha paysha" to my
grandchildren and pass along a family tradition.

Chag sameach Purim.

Carole Glick Feinberg
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
feincgs@cs.com

Searching: LERNER, BERNSTEIN, LANTNER, HAMERMAN,
GARTENBERG, SCHNEIDSCHER, KREUTZENAUER, KOCH,
WEBER/Drohobycz;
HILLEBRAND, SCHECK/Boryslaw;
SOMERFLEK, MALKISCHER, KATZ/Romanowe Siolo, Kujdance,
Zbaraz, Tarnopol;
GLEKEL/Volochisk, Belozerka, Kupil


Drexler <asleuth@...>
 

The game mentioned below with the string is one I learned as a child and it
was called cats cradle by those who played it, although I learned it from
Christian friends. The Pisha Paysha game I was taught by my grandmother
who was born in Lithuania was actually a card game played with a complete
deck of cards. It was similar to rummy or poker.

Patcha patcha kichalach was a game she played with all the children when we
were small and we use to clap hands while reciting the rhyme.

Anita Drexler
Sunny Isles Beach

Searching: MODEL and BERLIN Galicia

----- Original Message -----

The thread which dealt with the hand game of Yiddish
rhyming, pinching, and tickling brings to mind the game my
grandmother taught us called (phonetically), "pisha
paysha", in which a string is tied, creating a circle. The
circle is tautly placed outside both upright hands which
face each other. Without recalling exactly how, I
remember shapes being created >from the string with a
finger >from each hand, each player taking a turn creating
a new geometric shape while easing the string off the
previous player's hands onto his/her own.


Tammy
 

Funny, I'm in my mid- 30's and my parents taught me Pisha Paysha as a card
game: Each player tried to get rid of his/her cards by placing the cards
on the opponent's exposed pile in either ascending or descending order;
simultaneously building the table >from ace to king in each suit. It
started out slow, but became a very fast chaotic game by the second
round. My families are from: Kanczuga Galicia, Bielsk Poland, Minsk
Belarus, and Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine. I wonder how a game with string
evolved into a game with a deck of cards!

Tammy Sarote
New York


Marjorie Rosenfeld <marjorierosenfeld@...>
 

Carole Glick Feinberg describes "a circle created by a piece of string from
which shapes are created >from the string with a finger >from each hand, each
player taking a turn creating a new geometric shape while easing the string
off the previous player's hands onto his/her own."

This sounds like what we used to call Cat's Cradle when I was growing up in
America (back in the remote past of the 1930's and 1940's). As far as I
know, children still play it. Only they don't have to be Jewish or say
anything in Yiddish! It starts with a loop of string placed on the outside
of two hands that are held apart to keep the string taut, but, as I recall,
with the string running in front of the middle finger (the one next to the
index finger) on each hand. Then you take the same finger >from the opposite
hand and insert it under the bit of string opposite and pull your hand
back--but you have to do this simultaneously with each hand. This creates
diamond shapes, and the next player then pinches where the string lines
intersect on both sides of the configuration created, using his thumb and
index finger on each hand and, firmly holding onto the string, he brings the
bit he's pinching over the sides of the rest of the string and underneath
the configuration and then up >from the bottom through the center, moving his
hands apart when this is completed to hold the string taut. Each time
there's a move by one of the players, a new configuration is created.

Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld


Chana Saadia <hana_saadia@...>
 

That sounds like "cat's cradle" - it's played in various forms all over the
world, but our home (Galician ?) version didn't have words attached.

Chana Saadia
Israel
researching: GOLDMAN, HOLLANDER - Gorlice area; SEIDMAN, STEINHARDT -
Tarnopol, & related families.


Brenda & Irwin Etter <etterbi@...>
 

I remember pisha paysha very well, and I taught it to my daughter when she
was old enough to begin to learn the hand/finger coordination. It was
probably taught to my mother by her mother. They came >from eastern galicia
also. My grandmother was born in Buchach, and then grew up in Podhajce. My
mother was born in Sloweta. My father also knew the game, so it may have
come to my >from my Litvak ancestors of Mahalin and Smolensk.

Irwin Etter, Seattle


RandSHolton@...
 

My grandparents were >from Lithuania and the Suwalk-Lomza area and they too
taught me the card game pisha paysha altho' in their Lithuanian accented
Yiddish it was called 'Pishy Payshie'. It was as you say a very simple
form of rummy.

Patche patche kichelach was a favourite rhyme with actions when I was a
very small child.

Shirley Holton
London England