Dreidl is a Yiddish word meaning “top” or “little spinning thing.” Geflocktne means “twisted” or “interwoven.” I’m not in the least sure about the inflection – please feel free to send corrections. This one is showing nun up, meaning that you win nichts, nada, niente, nichievo, not so much. Spin again, please.
At Hanukkah, it traditional to spin the dreidl and play for chocolate coins or nuts. Some time in the 80s, after Kasahara’s Omnibus came out and I learned how to divide things into fifths, I made a dreidl from a square. It was a tube with one fifth overlapped. It was okay, but it didn’t spin very well and I always had this nagging feeling that the top was rigged, just like loaded dice. And someone else independently created and published diagrams before I did. Really, it would be hard not to do it that way.
This one is made from a silver rectangle (A5, specifically) and uses a couple tricks to avoid the pitfalls of my last attempt. By twisting the paper, we get one fourth of the weight on each side, while still allowing us to box in the space and lock it shut. Knowing that there wasn’t sufficient weight to get it to spin for any length of time, we drop a Tootsie Pop into the interior and use the stick as the handle. The lollipop weighs six tenths of an ounce (or masses 17 grams, for those of you keeping score at home), just about enough to maintain centripetal force for a few seconds. And it’s kosher.
This fold is dedicated to Mrs. Petzel, who lived in my town when I was a gormless lad and frequently lent me origami books and BOS magazines. She lives in San Diego now and is more widely known as Florence Temko.
A slideshow showing the construction is at Flickr.