nurdle, antedates? 
Posted: 14 February 2014 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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OED dates the cricketing verb “nurdle” to 1985.

Or, rather, their first cite is dated 1985.

This is very surprising to me. I would have sworn blue that commentators were using this term in the late 1970s, but memory is tricky.
What say you? (This question is mainly aimed at those forumers from the cricketing nations ... )

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Posted: 14 February 2014 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not knowing what nurdling is, I can’t speak to the answer, but a late citation might be explained by the OED’s citation practices. In the past (I don’t know if this is still the dictionary’s current policy), they would not cite television, radio, or films directly. The editors required a script or transcript, which they would then cite.

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Posted: 14 February 2014 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, OPT. What a lovely word! Good enough for Jabberwocky. And with such variegated meanings, too!

A young lady athlete named Curdle
Once took a bad fall at a hurdle.
She later was heard
To explain what occurred:
“A nurdle got under my girdle”.

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Posted: 15 February 2014 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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That proper young lady called Curdle
Once faced quite a different hurdle,
When at MIT
She’d been cautioned, “Girl, flee!
Or a nerd’ll get under your girdle.”

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Posted: 15 February 2014 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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LINES ADDRESSED TO A STRUGGLING POETASTER

When your genius demands to be heard
And your versifying loins you do gird,
If you lack a mot juste
And feel somewhat nonpluste ----
Go to aldi: he’ll find the right word.

(raises hat to aldiboronti—for “nerd’ll” in particular --- and sidles into the wings)

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Posted: 15 February 2014 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Is there a poet among us who can explain how “nurdle” also means a small plastic particle or a pea size bit of toothpaste?  Nurdle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Posted: 15 February 2014 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Sadly, the OED is only aware of the cricketing meaning.

Pronunciation:  Brit. /ˈnəːdl/ , U.S. /ˈnərd(ə)l/
Etymology:  Origin unknown.
Cricket. colloq.
Categories »

trans. To work (the ball) away gently, esp. to the leg side; to accumulate runs slowly by this method. Freq. in nudge and nurdle. Also to nurdle one’s way and intr.
1985 Times (Nexis) 24 Dec., He crept, nudged and nurdled his way towards the total.
1992 Sunday Times (Nexis) 17 May (Sport), Russell, in a two-hour stint, nicked and nurdled to such advantage that 50 priceless runs were added in 20 overs.
1993 Manch. Guardian Weekly (Nexis) 31 Jan. 31 After struggling to locate the next dozen he tried to nurdle Raju’s left-arm spin square on the leg side and was trapped in front.
2001 Evening Post (Nottingham) 10 Sept. 48 His hundred came from just 65 balls; Brown wisely electing thereafter to nudge and nurdle the ball into gaps.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Michael Bentine “invented” the word/verb back in 1962 as part of a sketch on an album “It’s a Square World” (spin off from his TV show of the same name). 
http://monologues.co.uk/Sketches/Drats.htm
Youtube Audio

Although the game was called “Drats” and nurdling was a part of it, nurdle seems to have taken off by itself. Take a look at this odd newsreel excerpt:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/nurdling
I can’t remember when this was adopted into cricketing terminology, but that someone on the BBC commentary team was a Bentine fan is not too surprising!

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Posted: 16 February 2014 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I know little about these things, but hasn’t steve_g just antedated the OED’s earliest cite for “nurdle” by 13 years?

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Posted: 17 February 2014 12:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I don’t think so, but haven’t got access to the OED to see exactly what is in there. The Michael Bentine stuff is easy to find and I assume a script or suitably authenticated transcript must exist, but perhaps no one has bothered to add it as the level of usage must be quite low.  Isn’t there a threshold for use before entry into the OED?

However I think that OP’s OP is asking for the date of the use of Nurdle as a cricket term.  I mentioned the original coining just to provide an “offside boundary” for the date.

BTW
http://www.infotextmanuscripts.org/webb/webb_cambridge_dont_shoot.pdf

Assuming that the script for “Drats” did not change, this potentially puts the date back to 1960.

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Posted: 17 February 2014 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Drats also features in Michael Bentine’s Book of Square Games. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy but the text was rather different to version in the link steve_g posted. In the book, drats is stated to be a Kentish game (complicated by the recent construction of the M2 motorway across the route taken by the players). There were also pictures. I can’t remember whether ‘nurdle’ came into that version or not. Some Googling gives the date of the book as 1966.

(There was also a Book of Square Holidays, which, alas, I also no longer have.)

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Posted: 17 February 2014 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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steve_g - 17 February 2014 12:43 AM

I don’t think so, but haven’t got access to the OED to see exactly what is in there.

I’ve given the full entry (which is brief).

EDIT: and thank you, steve_g. It does seem unlikely that the Bentine version is completely unrelated to the word that popped up in cricket.

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