Jack"straw` (?), n.
An effigy stuffed with straw; a scarecrow; hence, a man without property or influence.
One of a set of straws of strips of ivory, bone, wood, etc., for playing a child's game, the jackstraws being thrown confusedly together on a table, to be gathered up singly by a hooked instrument, without touching or disturbing the rest of the pile. See Spilikin.
<-- = Sim. to pick-up-sticks (U.S. 1940+), played with thin wooden sticks of different colors, having different values for scoring, and dislodged from the pile with the hand or one of the sticks -->
© Webster 1913.