Welcome back to Glee

I am not a fan of Glee, which is returning to UK TV screens, but I am amused by the word doing the rounds to describe its fans. Apparently, they are known as Gleeks.

I’m sure there are other TV shows which have spawned unusual words to describe its fans. But instead of making me rush to my TV set, the word Gleek may be setting me off on an alternative quest.

It turns out that Gleek was a popular card game around 400 years ago, where cards were exchanged to try and gain sets. A Gleek was three of a kind, while a mournival was four of a kind. There was a range of other delightful terminology.

It’s a lovely example of a word changing its meaning over a very long period.

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