What sport captivates toxophilites?
I won’t lie to you. I’m a word nerd.
So the other night, I got to thinking about the word ’archery’ and I looked it up. What I found made me smack my forehead. Naturally, it comes from ‘arch’ and ‘arc’. ‘Bow’ is the shape created by bending something. Of course! The bow is an arc, the arrows fly in an arc: why did I even have to look this up? One of the things that’s great about words is that you can often pick out the pieces of a word, and make sense of it yourself. Clearly, I have the internet disease. You know, where you look stuff up instead of figuring it out yourself.
Now, as I was looking up the etymology of ‘archery’, I was also chagrined that I found so much stuff about it. Is it absolutely impossible to have an original thought? The Online Etymology Dictionary spat out a little whack of words that are related to archery, my favourite being ‘toxic’. Taxus is the Greek for the yew tree, which they used to make bows, which they tipped with poison, et voila! If you’ve heard of the Toxophilus, the first English language book on archery, it all starts to make a big, pretty picture. Toxon, bow, plus philos, love. Awwww.
My research also led me to a post on another archery blog that I really got a kick out of. It’s got a really fun list of archery-related phrases. ‘Sin’ is Greek for missing the target! ‘The Village Idiot’ had to watch everybody else’s archery gear while they were in church! The kicker is it’s produced right here in Ontario. Jordan Sequillon who writes it, is just a teenager and she took part in the World Archery Championships last year. Holy cow! Jordan Sequillon, when you’re old enough to drink, come to Toronto and I’ll totally take you for a pint at The Village Idiot! But wait, Sin and Redemption is right next door. Coincidence?