2 of 2
2
“wicket” and the OED
Posted: 15 January 2008 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  420
Joined  2007-10-20

Zythophile’s link to the origins of Cricket is quite informative, particularly the fact that even the venerable Bede mentions it. As I suggested in another thread, the Brits take their sports rather seriously, perhaps more than any other nation. One point in the article caught my eye (not literally, but figuratively, or else I’d be in the hospital right now):

The likeliest hypothesis is that it took shape as the sport of shepherd boys on the downland of south-east England.

There the sheep-cropped grass was short enough to allow the earliest bowling to be simply trundled all along the ground.

Now, in the interest of fairness, the record should be amended to reflect that Andy Griffith postulated this theory more than fifty years ago. His being in all probability a Welshman by heritage, as I am proud also to have some very small claim to, it kind of makes sense that he would view the national pastime with such historical accuracy. What It Was, Was Football:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNxLxTZHKM8

Probably the original game didn’t have the convicts and pretty girls, but it appears certain that the first players also had to exercise fancy footwork.

[ Edited: 15 January 2008 06:47 PM by Iron Pyrite ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4609
Joined  2007-01-03

Zythophile’s link to the origins of Cricket is quite informative, particularly the fact that even the venerable Bede mentions it.

This is an inaccurate description. The site refers to an illuminated, 12th century manuscript of Bede’s Life of St. Cuthbert that has an illustration of two men playing a bat-and-ball game. There is no evidence that it is cricket. There is no “mention” of cricket. And the manuscript was produced some 400 years after Bede’s death.

Bat-and-ball games have been around since prehistory and this is not the only medieval manuscript to have such an illustration. The cover of Block’s Baseball Before We Knew It (perhaps the best history of baseball out there) has a similar illustration from the 14th century Flemish manuscript The Ghistelles Calendar.

The earliest cite of the word cricket in the OED is from 1598 (referring to the game being played c.1550) in the Guild Merchant Book, in the Guildford Borough Records:

hee and several of his fellowes did runne and play there at Creckett and other plaies.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2301
Joined  2007-01-30

I’ve always been struck by the likeness between the words cricket and croquet. OED makes no connection between them but it’s intriguing that hockey-sticks are mentioned as being used in early forms of cricket, and also feature in the etymology for croquet.

Supposed to be a. NorthFr. croquet, dial. form of crochet, dim. of croc, croche crook, found in ONF. in sense of ‘shepherd’s crook’ (Du Cange s.v. crochetum, Littré and Hatzfeld s.v. Crochet); and used in some modern F. dialects in sense of ‘hockey-stick’

(OED says ‘etymology uncertain’ for cricket).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2783
Joined  2007-01-31

The AHD, though, says “Obsolete French criquet, piece of wood, from Old French, stick for a bowling game, perhaps from Middle Dutch cricke, walking stick.” The etymological note in the OED seems to agree as far as the French term is concerned, and mentions a possible connection to Flemish:"The word appears to be the same as F. criquet given by Littré as ‘jeu d’adresse’, by Godefroy as ‘bâton servant de but au jeu de boules’, with a quot. of 1478, ‘Le suppliant arriva en ung lieu ou on jouoit a la boulle, pres d’une atache [vine-stake] ou criquet’. ...Cricket cannot be a deriv. of OE. crycc ‘knobbed staff’, for here the cc was palatal and gave ME. crytch, crutch; but F. criquet might be a deriv. of the cognate M.Flem. krick, kricke, ‘baston à s’appuyer, quinette, potence’.

(My French is too negligible to attempt translations of all of those phrases without heavy dictionary-work that I lack time for.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  236
Joined  2007-02-13
aldiboronti - 16 January 2008 08:27 AM

...hockey-sticks are mentioned as being used in early forms of cricket,…

Just to clarify, early cricket bats resembled field hockey sticks.  Yes, “field hockey” is a retronym, but it is not what usually springs to mind when “hockey” is discussed.  As for the switch to a more modern cricket bat, my completely unsubstantiated wild guess is that it was a response to the wicket getting narrower and taller, requiring a longer striking surface on the bat.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  806
Joined  2007-03-01

Yes, “field hockey” is a retronym, but it is not what usually springs to mind when “hockey” is discussed.

In Rightpondia it is. If you just said “hockey”, nobody in the UK or Ireland would envisage ice and skates.
Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1951
Joined  2007-02-19

This is true of entire continents. Ask an Indian what “hockey” is.

(Ed.) Suddenly remembered from the days when I wore grey flannel shorts and a cap and blazer (when one wiped one’s nose on the sleeve of the latter, the braid tended to scratch):

“The boy stood on the burning deck
Playing a game of cricket;
The ball went up his trouser leg
And hit his middle wicket”

[ Edited: 16 January 2008 02:29 PM by lionello ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2783
Joined  2007-01-31

when one wiped one’s nose on the sleeve of the latter, the braid tended to scratch

It may be a myth, but I’ve heard that this is the original reason for putting braid on the sleeves of military uniforms: to discourage using them for nose-wiping.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2
 
‹‹ duff kit      "Fashionably late" ››