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Subject: Why are they called "Meeples"? rss

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Brian J. Hotovec
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Just curious, but why are the little wooden markers in so many games referred to as "Meeples"?

Thanks.
 
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Robert C Kalajian Jr
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I beleive it's short for "My People". I don't remember the entire history behind this though.
 
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David Me
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Best source says a gal named Alison Hansel called them that for "My People", but you'll also hear people say it means "Miniature People".

[edit: "hear", not "here"...those homonyms always get me when I'm typing fast]
 
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Christian Holmes
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Well, on one of the episodes of the podcast called "The Dice Tower" with Tom Vasel, there is an explaination of German boardgame terms by a German gamer named Moritz Eggert.

He explained that usually if there is a "pawn" used in a game, it is called a "Poepl" (actually the o has an umlaut over it, but i don't know how to do that here...). I am not sure if I got the spelling correct.

Meeple is the anglicized version of it, adding the idea that the pawn represents oneself (ME).

 
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Scott Russell
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I thought it stood for multiuse people.

I first heard it applied to Carcassonne pieces and the meeples there can have many professions and you don't know until they are placed.
 
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Adam Smiles
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The term was in deed coined by local gamer Alison Hansel, during a game of Carcassonne. "Meeples" is a melding of "My Peoples". As in, "These little guys are my peoples, they're meeples."

While the term initially was used only for Carcassonne, as its usuage spread through the gaming community, it's meaning eventually grew to encompass any wooden bit in the shape of a person.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Yep, Alison Hansel, and yep, "My People." Anyone who knows Alison also knows she uses that phrase a fair bit, and if you're lucky, you'll get to be one of her people.

Here's a photo of Alison with her twins
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Chris Bailey
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That's great. Thanks Allison! Now would people please stop putting "le" at the end of every pawn in existance to make is sound like meeple? (Piggles?? gulp)
 
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Michael Marvosh
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I have never seen such towheaded children. That's pretty cute.
 
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Joe Cappello
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sos1 wrote:
Yep, Alison Hansel, and yep, "My People." Anyone who knows Alison also knows she uses that phrase a fair bit, and if you're lucky, you'll get to be one of her people.

Here's a photo of Alison with her twins


Does she call those two her tweeples?
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David Me
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Nice pic. What does she think about her 'fame' in the hobby?
 
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Crypt Keeper
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Quote:
Alison Hansel coined the term. It's short for "My People" as she felt the little meeples were uber-cute. Local Massachusetts gamers started to use the term Meeple in numerous session reports that appeared on the 'net, and caught on over time. I've even heard Jay Tummelson use the term. (I'm still waiting for an official Rio Grande Games translation that uses the term.) It was said at an SSG session back in November of 2000. So it is written so let it be known...

I've seen people refute this and claim that it was used far earlier for some other game... In any event, if the term was used before, it was not known to Alison. In any event, the usage with Carcassonne followers has a very specific origin. - David Bernazzani


From the Meeples Choice web site.
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The amazing & fabulous
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spaztian wrote:


He explained that usually if there is a "pawn" used in a game, it is called a "Poepl" (actually the o has an umlaut over it, but i don't know how to do that here...). I am not sure if I got the spelling correct.




I always like to call pawns in chess prawns. Then, when one is attempting to make it to the other side of the board to get queened or whatever, I call it a prawn run. It's best to accompany this with little sound effects that sound like a prawn swimming through the water. swoosh swoosh swoosh.. that sort of thing. laugh
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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davidme wrote:
Nice pic. What does she think about her 'fame' in the hobby?

She blames Dave Bernazanni for publicizing it.

Alison's a treat to know, really. At conventions she uses what she calls her "Dance Card" - she writes down names of people (Her people, of course), who must play a game with her when she decides, and keeps the list in her name badge. You may be just finishing up a game when she'll come up and inform you that you're the next name on her dance card, and you must now play a game with her. How can I refuse?
 
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Dave Lartigue
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GorthraxtheBeast wrote:
Just curious, but why are the little wooden markers in so many games referred to as "Meeples"?


Because calling them "carrots" would just be dumb.
 
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Jim Pulles
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My youngest sister called the mini-people pegs that go in the cars from The Game of Life "meeples" back in the early 1960s... she was only six or seven at the time. Because of that, I've called a lot of game tokens "meeples" for all of my gaming life.

I doubt that my sister has ever met Alison Hansel and, from the posted picture, I doubt that Alison Hansel was even born when I started using the phrase. Ms. Hansel might have helped boost the phrase for modern use, but she definitely did not come up with it.
 
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Richard Hutnik
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I thought they were Maple PEEPLES. Aka, they were made out of maple wood.

 
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Richard Hutnik
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kennylibido wrote:
sos1 wrote:
Yep, Alison Hansel, and yep, "My People." Anyone who knows Alison also knows she uses that phrase a fair bit, and if you're lucky, you'll get to be one of her people.

Here's a photo of Alison with her twins


Does she call those two her tweeples?


Tweeples. That is what I was thinking :-). Tripplets would be Treeples.
 
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Ubergeek
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Quote:
Ms. Hansel might have helped boost the phrase for modern use, but she definitely did not come up with it.


I've got to agree with Jim on this one. I was using the term gaming back in the mid 90's probably about the time Settlers came out. I always thought it was short for mini people and I've used the term and seen it used in many threads and reviews back when news groups were big (are they still around? I haven't checked in years).
 
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Kevin H
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I don't care what the origin is...

I always assumed it meant "miniature peoples"

Makes more sense than anything else I've heard
 
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Seth Bell
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I was using the word meeple to refer to my tin soldiers in 1838 waaaay before any of your grandparents were born. In fact, I told Alison to use the word. I also told everyone who writes session reports that they should be calling them meeples, not pieces or pawns or prawns or mans or markers or anything else. I invented the word and if you've ever used you owe me money. I'd say, $1 every time you've used it. So there.
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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Tinman41 wrote:
I was using the word meeple to refer to my tin soldiers in 1838 waaaay before any of your grandparents were born. In fact, I told Alison to use the word. I also told everyone who writes session reports that they should be calling them meeples, not pieces or pawns or prawns or mans or markers or anything else. I invented the word and if you've ever used you owe me money. I'd say, $1 every time you've used it. So there.


My family has a rune stone heirloom which I wear around my neck daily, passed down since 934 when my Viking forefathers were pillaging in what is now Ulster, Northern Ireland.

At that time they played a lot of Hnefatafl during their long ship travels. One of my relatives, Leif Mei Aloneson, was a devastatingly good player. He developed a reputation for trapping opponents pieces and saying "meeple!" Which translates to, "Now you owe me a Meade..."

The runestone was carved by a trappist Monk under duress, when his party was razing a monastery on the Aran Islands. He forced the man at sword point to make a trophy which displayed his Hnefatafl prowess. On the reverse side is the rune representation for "meeple!" It oddly looks like a modern meeple:


_( )_
\__/
// \\

Therefore, all of you must name your firstborn Leif, in homage to my Nordic roots. And, I will be dropping by to pillage and burn all of your game collections, except the pretty ones with illuminated texts like Quiddler...

Peace before the Skol,
Christian Vetrhus
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Ray
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Meeple is also used in some White Wolf RPGs and LARPs as a term used by werewolves to describe people (my people = their pets or food). Go read some Werewolf forums and you'll still see it in use.

In general any cat sort of character tended to blur their meows and letter M with other vowels (I think its from listening to the cat in Mr Rogers neighborhood).
 
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Ubergeek
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Of course to find derivatives of the word Meeple, see the fun geeklist at http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/13955 and who came up with them.

My favorites there are still Jeeples and Sheeplesmeeple.
 
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Richard Campbell
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You guys give me the "Creeples"......
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