Hi folks! I've been offline for a couple of weeks (seriously, does the whole of the UNIVERSE just not want me to post!?) and it turns out that updating with an iPhone or a Xoom is REALLY hard. Anyway!
Hot Cockles [hot cock-uls]
A rustic game in which one player lay face downwards, or knelt down with his eyes covered, and being struck on the back by the others in turn, guessed who struck him.
Origin unknown. Does anyone have any further info or resources? The OED has no clue.
Real World Usage
1580 Sidney Arcadia ii. (1629) 224: How shepheards spend their dayes, At blow point, hot cockles, or else at keeles.
While we never played this, we played many games like Hot Cockles in my youth. Most of them were just as barbaric - you can play them too!
You and your opponent stand facing reach other, your hands together, fingers out, like you were praying, but with yours and your opponent's hands pointed towards each other, tips of your middle finger touching. The aim is to slap each other's hands, while avoiding being slapped and avoiding being tricked into flinching. You'd each make small movements with your hands and arms, just enough to try and convince your opponent that you were about to go for a slap. If you slap your opponent, you get a point. If you convince your opponent and they flinch, you get a free slap as hard as you can, plus a point.
Knuckles - same as above, but you form a fist and the aim is to hit your opponent’s knuckles as hard as possible with your own.
Slaps – same above, but the winner gets to slap two fingers as hard as possible on the other’s under wrist.
You and your opponents stand around a fire in as little clothing as possible, then drop a sealed tin of baked beans or tube of toothpaste in the middle. Winner is the last man standing without getting gobs of exploded, searing toothpaste or beans searing their legs.
You and your opponents punch each other as hard as possible in the arm, harder and harder, until someone shouts ‘mercy’ and gives up.
Camel Bite – same as above, but you slap each other’s thighs with two fingers.
The 'Check Out My Junk' Game - any number of players try and convince each other to look below the waist. Movements, gestures, outright telling them to 'check this out!' If you fall for it, you get punched.