---A person adept at the manipulation
of playing cards. Usually implying a cheater
. (also "cardsharp", "card-sharp", or "cardsharper")
Earliest known uses of the term:
More recent thoughts on the subject:
There exists a closely related term "card shark" that is oft used in more recent speech and literature. The term "card sharp" predates this new bastardization by hundreds of years, although it appears that "card shark" is going to stay in the common lexicon. The term "card shark" seems to have a different connotation, implying a player is agressive and good at cards. The word probably started by someone who misheard "card sharp" and is somewhat related to words like "pool shark" and "loan shark".
There is an episode of Friends
(May 1996) called "The One with Russ" where a character named Russ starts dating Rachel. The thing is Russ looks nearly identical to our hero Ross. A funny bit of dialog occurs between them:
Ross: "For your information, it's a card SHARP, not a card SHARK."
Russ: "You could not be more wrong. You could try, but you would not be successful."
Chandler: "Okay, I'm going to get some more coffee before the pinching and eye poking begins."