10 curling terms | OxfordWords blog

And binds the mire like a rock;

Curling, for those who don’t know the sport, is one of those curious things that is equally captivating as it is baffling. Although the sport dates back to Medieval Scotland (the first citation for the best paper service review word curling in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1638), curling in its current form is a relatively recent phenomenon, and was only officially added to the Winter Olympic Games program at the 1998 Nagano Games (though it was part of the first games in 1924).

10. roar

(n.) A curling tournament.

4. tee

(n.) The mark, a cross made on the ice and surrounded by circles, at which the stones are aimed.

1. curling-stone (also rock)

9. hack

In time o’ need;

(n.) Either of two distance lines drawn across the rink parallel to the backboard, the first marking the point at which the stone must be released, and the second being the line that the stone must cross to be in play.

8. broom

3. bonspiel

5. house

Sweeping is allowed anywhere on the ice up to the tee, but as soon as the edge of the team’s stone crosses the tee only one player may sweep it. Additionally, when a stone crosses the tee, one player from the opposite team is also allowed to sweep it.

(n.) A session of play in one particular direction across the playing area.

The first brooms that were used in curling were besoms, or brooms made of twigs tied round a stick. However, now curling brooms might have fabric, hog hair, or horsehair heads. The handles are normally hollow fiberglass tubes instead of wood, which allow for faster sweeping and better balance.

Wha will they station at the cock?
Tam Samson’s dead!

Tam Samson’s dead!

(n.) An implement for sweeping the ice in the game of curling.

Stones must land between the hog line, and the back line (behind the rings) and may not contact boards or out lines (on the sides) at any time during travel.

(n.) a notch cut in the ice, or a peg inserted, to steady the foot when delivering a stone in curling.

When Winter muffles up his cloak,

  • The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.
  • A present-day curling-stone is a round stone of not more than 36 inches in circumference, or 50 pounds weight, with an iron handle on the upper surface. The highest-grade curling-stones are made of a type of granite called ailsite, which comes from a quarry on Ailsa Craig Island, off the coast of Scotland. As of 2004, 60%-70% of all curling stones in use were made from granite from the island.

    He was the king o’ a’ the core,

    6. hog line

    Curling players wear special curling shoes, each of which has a different sole to help the player slide or stop sliding. The non-sliding shoe is worn on the foot which you use to push off from the hack.

    The origin of the word bonspiel is uncertain; it probably derives from Dutch, but whereas the second element spel ‘game, play’ is clear enough, the first is not (suggestions include bond meaning ‘alliance, league ’, and bonne meaning ‘district of a town’ ). The word probably entered Scots as a whole , since spiel is not recorded earlier as a word for ‘play’. Bonspiel is the common term for a curling tournament today.

    Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Or up the rink like Jehu roar,

    After the last stone has been played in a round, the end is scored, and a new end is begun in the opposite direction.

    Players slide the curling-stones across the ice towards the house, the circular target marked on the ice, in order to accumulate points. Points are awarded for the stones that are closest to the center of the house, at the culmination of each end, when both teams have thrown all their curling-stones.

    2. soop

    7. end

    But now he lags on Death’s hog-score-
    When to the loughs the curlers flock,

    The word soop comes from the Old Norse sópa (compare Norwegian and Swedish sopa), and is related to Old English swāpan , meaning ‘to sweep’. Although the commonly used word now is sweep, the first citation for soop in the OED is from 1805, where the earliest citation for sweep in the context of curling is from 1811, which suggests soop could have been more widely used in curling’s early days.

    In the early days of curling, the sport was also referred to as “the roaring game” because of the sound the stones made while traveling over the ice.

    (n.) The space within the outermost circle drawn round the tee.

    (n.) The stone with which the game of curling is played.

    The earliest citation in the OED for the verb to roar in the context of curling is from the Robert Burns poem “Tam Samson’s Elegy” (1787).

    (v.) (Of a stone) to move across the ice at great speed, making a loud noise; (Of a player) to slide a stone at great speed.

    (v.) To assist the progress of (a curling-stone) by sweeping the ice in front of it.

    10 curling terms

    To guard, or draw, or wick a bore,

    When Winter muffles up his cloak,

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