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Mar 28, 2006
This week's theme
Words related to archery

This week's words
parthian shot
fletcher
bull's-eye
toxophilite
best gold

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

fletcher

(FLECH-uhr) Pronunciation Sound Clip

noun: A maker of arrows.

[From Middle English fleccher, from Old French flechier, from fleche (arrow). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pleu (to flow), which also gave us flow, fly, float, fleet, pulmonary, and pluvial.]

Sometimes this word is used in extended senses, for one who deals in arrows and also for an archer, but it is one of those occupations that now mostly survive as surnames. Some others are Webster (a weaver), Napier (in charge of the table linen at a royal estate), and Cooper (makes or repairs casks or barrels).

In their place, new professions have cropped up: webmaster, knowledge manager, privacy officer, and others. Do you think the pattern will repeat and in a century or two one might find somebody named John Webmaster only because his father had a last name Webmaster?

"Richard Head's garden is a longbow factory. His wife, Lindsay, is a longbow champion and a full-time fletcher."
Angus Watson; Know your Bow: Yew Turn That Changed History; The Daily Telegraph (London, UK); Oct 8, 2005.

See more usage examples of fletcher in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

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