Once 'my friends' played cards with me using playing cards that had CBR as the JQK..

I've always wanted to know why and where the cards originate.

Does anyone know?


  • 2
    Tricky. R makes me think of "roi" for king, but the other cards don't match up with the French names or derivatives thereof. Which basically excludes a large chunk of Europe right there.
    – Alex P
    May 30, 2012 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


Honestly I'm just guessing here, but could they be Irish? Roughly an hour of Googling eventually brought me to these pages, which lists the names of the face cards in Irish Gaelic as follows:

  • King: [R
  • Queen: [B]hanríon
  • Jack: Laoch (also [C]uireata)
  • Damn, you just barely beat me to this. I reached the same conclusion by translating "king and queen" to all the language Google knows how, noting that Irish (Gaelic) matched, then searching on google.ie in Gaelic for "cártaí imeartha", to find the laoch/cuireata part.
    – Cascabel
    May 31, 2012 at 3:23
  • I mostly just google searched for pages with various combinations of every foreign translation of the face cards I could come up with (many thanks to Wikipedia). Eventually came to math.bas.bg/~iad/tyalie/damapik.html which I went through line-by-line. Irish was the only one that fit, and I just kept searching until I found a corraborating reference that didn't insist on Laoch (which seems to be the most prevalent) for the Jack.
    – goldPseudo
    May 31, 2012 at 3:47
  • 1
    The problem with this is that the face cards in other languages might not be called Jack, Queen, and King - for example, in French, the word for Queen is "Dame", which means "lady".
    – Joe Z.
    Jan 9, 2014 at 1:29

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