Below so-called 4-sided dreidels|
A dreidel (Yiddish: דרײדל dreydl plural: dreydlekh, Hebrew: סביבון sevivon) is a four-sided spinning top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
The dreidel is a Jewish variant on the teetotum, a gambling toy found in many European cultures.
Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (He), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for "נס גדול היה שם"
(Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – "a great miracle happened there").
These letters were originally a mnemonic for the rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel: Nun stands for the Yiddish word nisht ("nothing"),
He stands for halb ("half"), Gimel for gants ("all"), and Shin for shtel ayn ("put in").
In Israel, the fourth side of most dreidels is inscribed with the letter פ (Pei) instead, rendering the acronym, נס גדול היה פה, Nes Gadol Hayah Poh—"A great miracle happened here",
referring to the miracle occurring in the Land of Israel. Some stores in Haredi neighborhoods sell the ש dreidels. (reference: Wikipedia)