Tiddlywinks became a phenomenon in the 1890s. Rick Tucker writes in his 1996 article, "Tiddlywinks: The Classic Victorian Pastime," that the name derived from, "British rhyming slang for an unlicensed pub (tiddlywink and also kiddlywink). In 1889, he says, the name was trademarked as TIDDLEDY-WINKS and a love-hate association ensued.
Tucker adds that, "Tiddlywinks has perhaps the most pervasive and negative stereotype of any game," and yet, "it was a rampant adult fad in the US and England for nearly a decade in the 1890s." The game involves disc-like counters called "winks," which are flipped with a shooter into the air. The aim of the game is to hit a target or to make the wink land in a pot.
Tiddlywinks is considered dull and simple by some, but has attracted adult winkers from such prestigious educational facilities as Cambridge University and Harvard. Tucker alleges that, "Prince Philip once suggested that tiddlywinks be included in the Olympics."
In 1962, reports the North American Tiddlywinks Association, "Oxford toured the US, and a number of US collegiate teams were formed." The 37th World Pairs Championships in 2010 was won by defenders Larry Kahn (US) & Matt Fayers (UK).