Word for Wednesday: Lacrosse

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It’s time for our final sports-themed Word for Wednesday article.

The Spellzone dictionary defines sport as ‘an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition’. The word dates to the early-fifteenth century when it meant ‘pleasant pastime’. Sport was a shortening of the Anglo-French ‘disport’ meaning ‘activity that offers amusement or reaction’. 

So far, we’ve looked at the words badminton, tennis, and hockey. Our chosen word today is lacrosse.

Lacrosse is based on games played within many North American Indigenous communities and is the oldest organised sport played in North America today. You can learn more about the history of the game here.

The version played today is made up of two teams who use long-handled rackets to catch, carry, and throw a ball into the opponent’s net. The rackets usually have an L-shaped or triangular frame with shallow netting at one end.

The word dates to 1850 and comes from the eighteenth-century Canadian French ‘jeu de la crosse’ which means ‘the game of the hooked sticks’. ‘Crosse’ possibly entered French via the Gallo-Romance ‘croccia’ which comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘kruk’ meaning ‘crook’. The rules of the modern form of the game were laid out in Canada in 1860.


24 Jun 2020
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