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The origin of "tarotee"

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Aeric's Avatar
Aeric  Aeric is offline
Magical Dreamer
Join Date: 11 Feb 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
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The origin of "tarotee"

This word makes me curious. From what I can see, it's only used in conjunction with the RWS, not in any other decks before or after it.

What exactly makes the plaid tartan pattern significant? Although RWS has become a standard, it doesn't seem like the tarotee was adopted as a standard or mimicked in many other decks. Did Waite or Smith choose the pattern as conducive to reversals? Who coined the term?
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Zephyros's Avatar
Zephyros  Zephyros is offline
Join Date: 31 Jan 2004
Location: Israel
Posts: 8,179

The tartan is not original, but, as far as I know, a US Games development, from 1971.

I don't know where tarotee comes from, but I am interested in what people will say.
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Richard's Avatar
Richard  Richard is offline
Le Mat
Join Date: 21 Dec 2010
Location: USA
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USG also uses the tarotee back on their blank tarot cards.
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Laura Borealis's Avatar
Laura Borealis  Laura Borealis is offline
pirate borealis
Join Date: 23 Feb 2004
Location: Georgia, USA
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Laura Borealis 

Plaid backs are not uncommon in vintage cards. Here's one example (pretty photo, too). I've seen quite a few plaid-backed tarock decks while browsing around the Playing Card Museum site ( The search there isn't the best but I found this one from c. 1900.

So there's precedent for the plaid back on the RWS. I've grown to like it.
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agent199  agent199 is offline
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Its the only way to go
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