from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Present participle of rathole.
  • noun the surreptitious or premature removal of chips during a poker game.
  • noun the emptying of material only in the center of a hopper or silo, leaving behind circumferential material.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • In gambling parlance, ratholing is the act of surreptitiously taking money off the table and slipping it in your pocket.

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  • But in poker, when you're pitted against other players, ratholing is frowned upon because it deprives opponents of the opportunity to win back the money they have lost.

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  • In the past few months, I've experienced both sides of the ratholing conundrum.

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  • Two different scenarios, two diametrically different perspectives on ratholing.

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  • Whatever your stance, opponents and advocates of ratholing agree on one thing: It's a surefire method of deterring chip thieves.

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  • Ratholing is a term used to describe a conversation or process that has deviated from its original productive purpose into a generally unproductive but long and winding detour that eventually comes to a dead end. The original discussion purpose may be to agree on a course of action. However, if one or more people rathole into a specific point of the discussion then the discussion stalls with no actionable outcome.

    In short, a fab word.

    May 27, 2007