Pinner as I played it in Dundee in the 50's was a throwing and scoring game.  Each participant had his or her 'Pinner' this was usually a small piece of steel approx 2" square but any article such as a large steel washer could be used and as Dundee was a city of heavy industry such items were easily obtained.

How do you play Pinner?

These are the rules of playing Pinner.

The object was for each player to score points by throwing their pinner onto and agreed manhole or solid drain cover or 'cundy' as they were called locally.  When the first child got his pinner on the 'cundy' he could score more points by hitting his opponents pinner with his own.  At this point it was a race of words between the players to see how hard or easy this task could be made for each other.  The word calls I remember 'in Dundeneese' included; CHAPPY (bend down and chap or touch your opponents pinner with yours) DRAPPT ( try to drop your pinner from a hight to touch your opponents), STANNY HARD BANGIE (stand up straight and hurl your pinner hard at your opponents), BLINDY (do it with you eyes closed) I am sure there are others which I no longer remember.

If the game was played by more than two players, the first player to have his pinner 'chapped' was out and so on until only one player was left to become the winner

Posted by: Magnus Walker

Other Rules

Pinner (the spelling is uncertain, as I have never seen it written down) is or was a schoolboy game played in Dundee, Scotland, certainly in the 1950s but seems to have died out. It does not seem to have been played elsewhere. Personal and Internet searches have not led to a definite set of rules. What follows is based on the collective memories of several former players:

The game was usually played in the school playground (if not banned) or in the street, e.g. when walking home. Each player possessed a 'pinner', a flat piece of metal, about 2-3cm squarish. Perhaps the most valued version (a 'filie') was a piece cut from a metal file. After some preliminary ritual, a playing order was established, as well as a set of current, local rules. (See later.) The basic prinicple was to take it in turns to throw your pinner towards a nominated drain cover, the 'killer cundie'. ('Cundie' is believed to be derived from the French 'conduit'). The first person to reach this cundie became 'killer' and tried to hit the other players' pinners. Once hit, you were out of the game for that session. A killer could lose his status if someone else could land on the killer cundie, thus becoming killer in turn.

That is the basic game as remembered, but it could be elaborated by additions which were either shouted at the beginning of the game or at certain points within the game. These were either positive or negative and the one who was acknowledged as shouting first won the rule. Examples included:

(Nae) steppie-tappie: (No)taking one half step forward and bending to tap another's pinner, rather than having to hit it with a throw.

Stannie-hard-bangie: killer must not step (see above) and must throw the pinner down as hard as possible at the other one, thus increasing likelihood of a miss.

Nae cleech, nae cleech, nae cundie cleesh: players under attack could not seek refuge by landing on an (unkiller)cundie.

Corrections or additions to these rules very welcomed as is any reference to it being played elsewhere, earlier or later.

Posted by: bill whyte

Comment 3

Gordon Burnside
Gordon Burnside
2016-12-03 11:52:28
I played it where I lived in Wolseley Street, Dundee, back in the 40s and 50s.  Some players had only a rough piece of file, which limited their movement options and could leave them vulnerable.  I was lucky in that my dad had burnished my pinnner, so I was able to aim at another pinner and, if I missed, my super smooth pinner could slide away to safety.
alan sturrock
alan sturrock
2012-03-24 11:15:32
Played it all over [and up and down] Court Street and Melrose Terrace...taught me life's lessons [though I did not know it at the time:-)]
Bobby MacKenzie
Bobby MacKenzie
2009-05-23 09:15:43
I well remember playing "pinner" in Cardean Street, Stobswell area of Dundee.  We used to play for cigarette cards which were all the rage to my age-group at that time (late40s, early 50s).  Happy days !
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