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What do you call a game played on a piece of paper in which two players write either O or X in a pattern of nine squares?

Please tell me, Thank you.

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    Noughts and crosses (UK) or tic-tac-toe (US). – Mick Dec 17 '16 at 14:23
  • Interestingly enough, the first game to be learned by a "learning machine", so far as I know. Ca 1965 someone constructed the "machine" out of matchbooks and match sticks, and then "taught" it to play tic-tac-toe perfectly after what was probably several hundred games. – Hot Licks Dec 17 '16 at 19:07
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In 1864 the first reference was in a British Novel "Can You Forgive Her".

Noughts and Crosses

It was not changed to

Tic-tac-toe

until the 20th century in American English.

However,

tic tac

was used as early as the 16th century to describe a repeated ticking sound. And a version of backgammon was named after this slang.

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Here is a snippet from Wikipedia :

The game has a number of English names.

Tick-tack-toe, tic-tac-toe, tick-tat-toe, or tit-tat-toe (United States, Canada).
Noughts and crosses or naughts and crosses (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe).
Exy-ozys, xsie-osies (verbal name only) (Northern Ireland).
Xs and Os (Egypt, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Zimbabwe).

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It's called tick-tack-toe.

Dictionary.com:

tick-tack-toe: a simple game in which one player marks down only X's and another only O's, each alternating in filling in any of the nine compartments of a figure formed by two vertical lines crossed by two horizontal lines, the winner being the first to fill in three marks in any horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row.

  • Oh! Thx so much – Fame Whiz Dec 17 '16 at 14:27
  • Interestingly, it is a game that neither player can win, providing that both players make no mistakes. It doesn't matter who goes first, or what starting position is chosen. – Mick Dec 17 '16 at 14:42
  • @Mick Hey, Mick. You're absolutely right. As you probably know, that fact saved the world in the 1983 movie War Games, starring Matthew Broderick. – Richard Kayser Dec 17 '16 at 19:52

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