Tag: sporting expressions

Video: how well do Oxford Dictionaries staff know football?

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croquet

Death roll, leapfrog, and dambuster: the language of croquet

Now that spring and sunshine have reached Oxford, the croquet season has begun in earnest in college quads. Its reputation as a civilized, gentle pastime is confirmed by some of the terms used by players of the game: tea lady, dolly rush, trundle, and pirie poke. But the game has a nastier side too, witnessed […]

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cricket

Playing with a straight bat: the language of cricket

With its long history and central place in English sporting culture, it is hardly surprising that cricketing idioms have been widely adopted into colloquial speech. The traditional association of cricket with fair play and good sportsmanship has given rise to expressions such as play with a straight bat, meaning to behave honestly and decently, and […]

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darts_large

Diddle for the middle: the language of darts

Darts in its current form was developed at the end of the 19th century and by the start of the 20th century it was a popular pub game, its success boosted by a 1908 court ruling that held that darts was a game of skill rather than chance and could therefore be played without breaking […]

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tennis

Video: anyone for tennis? Oxford Dictionaries staff tackle tennis terms

In the last OxfordDictionaries.com update, we added new words like binge-watch, side-eye, and amazeballs. At the Connecticut Open, Nick McCarvel asked various tennis stars including Caroline Wozniacki and Genie Bouchard if they knew what these words meant, and we think they did a pretty great job with the answers (which you can see in the […]

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Golfing jargon can seem rather arcane to the uninitiated

Birdies, bogeys, and baffies: the language of golf

Golfing jargon can seem rather arcane to the uninitiated, so here is a short guide to help you navigate the bunkers and water hazards of golf language. Competitors will be aiming to make par – the standard number of shots allowed for each hole (from the Latin for ‘equal’) – hence the expression ‘par for the […]

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Do you know your Nordic skiing terms?

10 Nordic skiing terms

Let’s have a look at a small group of terms from the sport known as Nordic skiing. (Remember, it’s distinct from Alpine skiing.) Nordic skiing is categorized by events in which the heel of the skier’s boot is not fixed to the ski. Competition at the Winter Olympics consists of: cross-country skiing, ski jumping, biathlon […]

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Do you know your speed skating terms?

8 speed skating terms

Speed skating at the Olympics is divided into two separate competitions: long track speed skating (which is usually just called “speed skating”) and short track speed skating. The size of the short track is generally equal to that of an ice hockey rink, while the long track size is more akin to an outdoor track […]

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