In some card games, particularly rummy games, you score points by melding, playing groups of cards from your hand face up on the table.

Meld meaning to merge, blend or unite; as in:
His graceful letters melded many different people into a political party. Blend of melt and weld.

One note of interest about this word from an etymologist is that it may be a "portmanteau word," a word formed by joining two others At first a "portmanteau" was someone, usually an officer who carried; French porte a prince's mantle or ceremonial coat; "manteau". Later a portmanteau came to mean a very large leather traveling bag with doubled compartment eventually the term portmanteau was used to describe any type of luggage or suitcase.

Lewis Carroll is credited with coining the phrase "portmanteau word" in his Through the Looking Glass:

    "Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe"
    Jabberwocky
Curious as to what slithy means Humpty Dumpty explains,
"Slithy" means both "lithe" and "slimy."
”You see," declares Humpty, "it's like a portmanteau -- there are two meanings packed up into one word." Bona fide "portmanteau words" were practically non-existent says one source at Word Detective:
    … until the 20th century, but we've been making up for lost time. Some of our classic modern portmanteau words are "motel" (which combines "motor" and "hotel"), "smog" ("smoke" and "fog"), and "brunch" ("breakfast" and "lunch"). Government bureaucrats love portmanteau words, as can be seen in such creations as "Medicare" (a smooshing of "medical care"), and many corporations now name themselves in a portmanteau fashion, as did Microsoft ("microcomputer" plus "software").

    “It is certainly possible that "meld," which first appeared around 1939 meaning "to mix, merge or blend," did arise as a blending of "weld" and "melt" or "melt" and "mold." But many experts trace "meld" to the English dialectical word "melled," meaning "mingled or blended," and from there all the way back to the Old French "meller," to mix.

In addition to the previous explanation to meld means to display or declare a card or combination of cards or to announce as a trump suit in a card game for addition to a player’s tally. Melding occurs in an assortment of card games such as pinochle. One dictionary says that this origin of the term is most likely derived from German melden denoting “ to announce” and from Middle High German, from Old High German meldôn.

Sources:

Online Etymology Dictionary:
www.geocities.com/etymonline/m3etym.htm

The Word Detective:
www.word-detective.com/091801.html

Meld (?), v. t. & i. [imp. & p. p. Melded; p. pr. & vb. n. Melding.] [G. melden to announce.] (Card Playing)

In the game of pinochle, to declare or announce for a score; as, to meld a sequence.

 

© Webster 1913


Meld, n. (Card Playing)

Any combination or score which may be declared, or melded, in pinochle.

 

© Webster 1913

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