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It stood for N = Nisht nothing to put into the pot G = Gantz Take all H = Halbe Take half Sh = Shtel Put coins into the pot


This is complete conjecture, but so it's the assumption that they really played dradel with letters that stood for something. Originally, the letters were נשג׳א as per maseches Avoda Zara 36b בית דין של חשמונאי גזרו ישראל הבא על עבודת כוכבים חייב משום נשג׳א. Rashi explains נ=נדה דרבנן. ש=שפחה. ג=גויה. א=אשת איש.


The Bnai Yissaschar's answer is that the letters נ ג ה ש should properly be rearranged to spell גשנה (lit. to Goshen). This is a reference to Bereisheis 46:28 when Yehuda is sent ahead to Goshen to prepare for the stay of Yaakov and his children in Mitzrayim. This served as the first precedent and as a perpetual reminder of the need for bnei Yisrael to stay ...

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