In Halma, Chinese Checkers, and their numerous variants, the yard refers to the corner of the game board in which your pieces are initially kept.

Thus, the object of the game is to move all of your pieces from your yard into your opponent's yard before they do the same to you.
 

Stay outta my yard, fool!

Yet another British/American English difference. What most Americans refer to as their "yard" would in the UK be called the "garden". "Yard" is only used in British English in this sense only for a paved or perhaps gravel area, either an area used for parking vehicles, or an area surrounded by buildings (a courtyard or the area between a house and an outbuilding such as a stable, garage or barn) or for the very small open space between a terraced house and a back alley, or the open area in a factory or storage facility (a builder's yard or a timber yard, for example). More or less any grassed area (however well maintained) or any deliberately included greenery will elevate a back yard to a back garden.

The figurative experssion "in my/your/his backyard" to mean "very close" either geographically or, more rarely, conceptually is however commonly used in British English.


In a builder's yard, "yard" is commonly used tout court to refer to a cubic yard of materials sold in bulk such as sand and gravel: "Oi, sort us two bags of dust and a yard of sharp, mate."

Yard (?), n. [OE. yerd, AS. gierd, gyrd, a rod, tick, a measure, a yard; akin to OFries. ierde, OS. gerda, D. garde, G. gerte, OHG. gartia, gerta, gart, Icel. gaddr a goad, sting, Goth. gazds, and probably to L. hasta a spear. Cf. Gad, n., Gird, n., Gride, v. i., Hastate.]

1.

A rod; a stick; a staff.

[Obs.]

P. Plowman.

If men smote it with a yerde. Chaucer.

2.

A branch; a twig.

[Obs.]

The bitter frosts with the sleet and rain Destroyed hath the green in every yerd. Chaucer.

3.

A long piece of timber, as a rafter, etc.

[Obs.]

4.

A measure of length, equaling three feet, or thirty-six inches, being the standard of English and American measure.

5.

The penis.

6. Naut.

A long piece of timber, nearly cylindrical, tapering toward the ends, and designed to support and extend a square sail. A yard is usually hung by the center to the mast. See Illust. of Ship.

Golden Yard, ∨ Yard and Ell Astron., a popular name the three stars in the belt of Orion. -- Under yard [i. e., under the rod], under contract. [Obs.]

Chaucer.

 

© Webster 1913.


Yard, n. [OE. yard, yerd, AS. geard; akin to OFries. garda garden, OS. gardo garden, gard yard, D. gaard garden, G. garten, OHG. garto garden, gari inclosure, Icel. garr yard, house, Sw. g�x86;rd, Dan. gard, Goth. gards a house, garda sheepfold, L. hortus garden, Gr. an inclosure. Cf. Court, Garden, Garth, Horticulture, Orchard.]

1.

An inclosure; usually, a small inclosed place in front of, or around, a house or barn; as, a courtyard; a cowyard; a barnyard.

A yard . . . inclosed all about with sticks In which she had a cock, hight chanticleer. Chaucer.

2.

An inclosure within which any work or business is carried on; as, a dockyard; a shipyard.

Liberty of the yard, a liberty, granted to persons imprisoned for debt, of walking in the yard, or within any other limits prescribed by law, on their giving bond not to go beyond those limits. -- Prison yard, an inclosure about a prison, or attached to it. -- Yard grass Bot., a low-growing grass (Eleusine Indica) having digitate spikes. It is common in dooryards, and like places, especially in the Southern United States. Called also crab grass. -- Yard of land. See Yardland.

 

© Webster 1913.


Yard, v. t.

To confine (cattle) to the yard; to shut up, or keep, in a yard; as, to yard cows.

 

© Webster 1913.


Yard (?), n. (Zoöl.)

A place where moose or deer herd together in winter for pasture, protection, etc.

 

© Webster 1913

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