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Archery - the verb for? #73617
06/20/02 02:57 AM
06/20/02 02:57 AM
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Eastern Ontario, Canada
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modestgoddess Offline OP
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modestgoddess  Offline OP
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In the "Cock-up" thread, dodyskin writes:

I was watching a history programme the other day and a fletcher was demonstrating archery. He asserted that the phrase cock-up came from archery, when the arrow is drawn with the feathers in the wrong position (unsure what that is), misfires and spins away.

- which reminds me of another question I'd been meaning to post here (so many questions, so little time! so many brain cells dying off from being here so late at night!):

Does anyone know what the verb for the art of archery is? "Fletcher" seems to be an alternative word for "archer" but unless I'm much mistaken, fletching means flaying the blubber off a whale carcase...? But we don't talk about archers arching....Is there a verb for the act of archery, or is it just referred to as "shooting arrows"?!

Let us go in peace to love and serve the board.

Re: Archery - the verb for? #73618
06/20/02 03:59 AM
06/20/02 03:59 AM
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Australia
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doc_comfort Offline
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A fletcher is / was / will haven been (sorry DA) an arrow-maker, I think. The little feathers are called fleche or something in French. ICLIU. Not sure about the verb; maybe bowing. An arrow has three feathers with a 120 degree angle between each. A notch in the tail of the arrow allows it to be placed in the bow two different ways. It should be placed such that the angle, rather than the feather, is on the bow side. IT is certainly plausible that the term "cock-up" could derive from doing this incorrectly.


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73619
06/20/02 10:34 AM
06/20/02 10:34 AM
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manchester uk
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dodyskin Offline
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yep, this guy was a fletcher, an arrowsmith.i think it is just shooting is it not? after all we tend to say shooting for guns don't we,gunning isn't used to often.


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73620
06/20/02 01:07 PM
06/20/02 01:07 PM
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wwh Offline
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We can trust a man named Fletcher to know what fletching is. It is possible however, that the fletcher did not make the whole arrow, but just did the critical part of applying the feathers, which had to be done with
great skill to have arrow fly right. I suspect "cockup" for wrong position of fletching may be reatively modern.


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73621
06/20/02 03:06 PM
06/20/02 03:06 PM
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Sussex, England
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FishonaBike Offline
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Hi MG,
I'm unsure there is a verb for "doing archery", and suspect dody's shooting may be as close as we can get. After all, bows and arrows have been around for a heck of a lot longer than guns, and until guns arrived people wouldn't have had anything else to shoot with. This presupposes that "shoot" predates "gun" of course.

I suspect "cockup" for wrong position of fletching may be reatively modern

Hmmm, not convinced Bill. Many terms from archery are embedded in English from way back, and archery skills were hugely important to the English people. So I think it makes a lot of sense that "cock-up" should refer to an arrow that doesn't fly straight due to being knocked (? think that's the word) incorrectly.

This reminds me of the (supposed) origin of the English gesture flicking the V's (aka V-sign, two-fingered salute) amongst English archers during the Hundred Years War:
http://st.sebastians.org/Info/FAQs/Longbow.php

Some other interesting archery/longbow stuff on that page.

Fisk


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73622
06/20/02 03:26 PM
06/20/02 03:26 PM
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wwh Offline
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The bowstring is placed in the "nock" on trailing edge of arrow. Incidentally, archers often dyed the
fletching with their personal colors to keep others from claiming them. I read a genealogy book by
a learned English clergyman that said an early word for and arrow was "flower", ;from root "flow"
and when victim lay on his back, the arros shaft with gaudy feathers looked like a bouquet, and
that is how we got our word "flower" for pretty blossoms. I haven't been able to find confirmation
of this.


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73623
06/20/02 05:55 PM
06/20/02 05:55 PM
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Nacogdoches, Texas, USA
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Robert Payne Offline
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I don't know anything (much) about word derivations, but I know a little about archery (I hunt deer with a bow). I have to question the theory that "cock-up" came from nocking an arrow incorrectly. As was explained by doc_comfort, the feathers (fletches) are arranged in 120-degree increments around the arrow shaft. When you nock an arrow you hold the bow horizontally, and the correct way to position the arrow is with the cock (feather) up. So...with this theory "cock-up" should have come to mean "done correctly"! If you wish to consider the phrase from the vertical bow position, the correct way would be "cock-left" (for a rightie), and the wrong position would be "cock-right." Of course this may all be a bunch of "cock and bull"! [grin]

I don't know a word that means the act of shooting a bow. Does anyone know where the word "nock" came from? Maybe I'll look it up!

Robert


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73624
06/20/02 06:28 PM
06/20/02 06:28 PM
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manchester uk
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dodyskin Offline
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erm, would it make a difference what kind of bow he was using, it may have been a crossbow and not a longbow


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73625
06/20/02 07:55 PM
06/20/02 07:55 PM
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wwh Offline
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Dear dodyskin: I doubt that a crossbow would be any different. The fletching would still
have to be positioned so that the feathers were not injured.


Re: Archery - the verb for? #73626
06/20/02 11:00 PM
06/20/02 11:00 PM
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Sydney, Australia
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hev Offline
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A fletcher is / was / will haven been (sorry DA) an arrow-maker, I think

You should know. Think you've missed your calling, Doc?


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