E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A game played with a piece of string stretched across the two hands. The art is so to cross the thread as to produce a resemblance to something, and for another so to transfer it to his own hands as to change the former figure into some other resemblance. A corruption of cratch cradle (the manger cradle), because the first figure represents a cradle, supposed to be the cradle of the infant Jesus.