- According to Hoyle
- Although card-playing was a favorite among the wealthy for many generations, it was not until the seventeenth century that the manufacture of inexpensive decks of cards enabled the masses to enjoy this game. Cards soon became the rage throughout Europe. The game that held an irresistible attraction for the English was whist, the forerunner of bridge. Whist could be played according to dozens of systems, which led Edmund Hoyle, an English writer (1672-1769), to write a book of rules called A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist (1742); the book eventually became the accepted authority on the playing of the game. Hoyle soon wrote on other popular card games and was quickly regarded as the authority on them, too.As Hoyle's expertise on the correct play of a game gained exposure, many people would frequently consult his books to see whether the procedure being followed met approval. If the play followed the rules set forth by Hoyle, its correctness was beyond dispute. Because of the frequent and widespread reference to Hoyle, whenever someone wished to indicate that everything was in order, that it was being handled properly— whether or not card-playing was involved—the saying "It is according to Hoyle," came to refer to the final authority in any field. Incidentally, Hoyle must have lived his life according to the rules because he laid down his last trump at the age of ninety-seven.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.