Confusing playing cards
August 6, 2010 6:40 AM   Subscribe

Can you explain a deck of cards that have H, V, and B instead of King, Queen, and Jack?

At my office we discovered a promotional set of playing cards from a German finance company, but the King, Queen and Jack cards are marked as H, V, and B respectively. The Ace is still an A and all the numbers are normal (as would be expected.)

Our German colleagues say that this doesn't match with German cards - does anyone know what language/format these cards are in? It's driving us crazy!
posted by ukdanae to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What finance company was it - because there was a HypoVeriensBank? AKA HVB

They were bought by dresdner bank
posted by JPD at 6:49 AM on August 6, 2010

Dutch cards have Boer, Vrouw, and Koning.
posted by mkb at 6:51 AM on August 6, 2010

Actually they were bought by Unicredit. And I can't spell, it's HypoVereinsBank
posted by JPD at 6:52 AM on August 6, 2010

Response by poster: MKB, that's it! Another colleague of mine just turned that up with some more googling. We tried dutch, but i was translating "Queen" instead of "Woman" which threw me off. Brilliant!

I guess the German company must have printed a special Dutch edition. We don't know where the cards came from so that's a good an explanation as any.

Thanks guys!
posted by ukdanae at 6:57 AM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: Wait, that's wrong. There's no H in that! But it looks like the Dutch also call the king a heer. This page says that Dutch cards do in fact have H, V, and B.
posted by mkb at 6:57 AM on August 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I just realised that at the same time! So that's King, Woman, and ... Farmer?
posted by ukdanae at 7:00 AM on August 6, 2010

so what bank is it?
posted by JPD at 7:00 AM on August 6, 2010

Actually, it could very well be Dutch, common usage is Boer, Vrouw and Heer. See also Wikipedia.
posted by Ms. Next at 7:00 AM on August 6, 2010

Hmmm preview would have been a wonderful thing... Sorry.
posted by Ms. Next at 7:03 AM on August 6, 2010

And yes, "boer" means farmer.
posted by Ms. Next at 11:35 AM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: FYI, in this context, Heer/Vrouw are more akin to Sir/Madam, Lord/Lady, Duke/Dame, etc than simply Man/Woman. The practice of addressing someone as "Maneer" comes from a contraction of "Mijn Heer", and "Mevrouw" from "Mijn Vrouw".

And Boer is generally any peasant, common man, etc...not specifically a farmer milking cows or driving combine harvester.
posted by randomstriker at 11:54 AM on August 6, 2010

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