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Home > Books > The British Archer > Glossary
A GLOSSARY
OF THE TERMS COMMONLY USED IN ARCHERY

A.

Arrow Sheaf, a war arrow, twenty-four of which would constitute a Sheaf of Arrows.

Ascham, a Cupboard or Case to contain bows and arrows and other implements of Archery.

B.

Back of a bow, the exterior.

Belly of a bow, the interior.

Bow shot, the distance which an arrow flies from the bow.

Brace, to bend a bow.—A bow may be too much or too little braced.

Butt, a mound of earth whereon to place a mark.

C.

Cast, signifying warped, and used to a bow of quick or slow cast,

Crysal or Chrysal, a kind of pinch, (in appearance like the fret of a worm,) in a bow.

Clout, a small target.

—, clout shooting, shooting at clouts.

Cock feather, that which has no one parallel to it.

Come round Compass, a bow is said to "Come round Compass" when it forms a proper curve in drawing.

Compass, to shoot Compass or a round Compass, is to shoot the arrow in a curved or parabolic line.

Cut, an arrow cuts the mark when it flies straight to it, but falls under it.

D.

Dead shaft, a heavy dull one.

Drawing the string, an act which immediately precedes the loosing.

Drawing thro' the bow, when the point of the arrow comes beyond the belly of the bow.

Drawing a feather, slipping it from the quill,

E.

Elevation, raising the bow to the mark.

Eye of the string, that part which occupies the upper horn of the bow.

F.

Fast, a word formerly used to stop a person when proceeding between the shooter and the mark, inattention to which would exonerate the archer in case of . accident

Fletcher, an arrow maker.

Following the string, is when a bow by use has lost somewhat of its original straightness.

Fret, the part of the wood eaten or cracked away, and signifies also that rising occasioned by the bow being strained.

G.

Gall, see Knot-gall

H.

Holding, the act of holding the string, when the bow is drawn up.

I.

Inches, or distance allowed the butt mark, in which an arrow must fall in order to count

K.

Keeping a length, to shoot the exact distance.

Knot-gall, a hurt in trees, occasioned perhaps by boughs growing or rubbing against the part

L.

Length, the distance intended to be shot

Limb of a bow, that part which extends from either side of the handle to the horns.

Low-feathered, when an arrow's feathers are cut short and shallow.

N.

Nock, the ancient word for notch, which by archers is still used; and to nock, is to "place the nock of the arrow in the string," but perhaps with more correctness, should be said, to place the string in the nock of the arrow.

Noose, that end of the string which is fastened at the lower horn.

O.

Over-bowed, when an archer's power is not sufficient for his bow. Over-hand, shooting over hand, is to look at the mark over the bow hand.

P.

Petticoat or Spoon, the ground of the target beyond the outer white.

Pinch, a small fret

Popinjay, a mark like a bird.

Prick mark, the white mark shot at.

Prick shooting, shooting at prick marks.

Pile, the head of an arrow, used indiscriminately for all heads of arrows.

R.

Rovers, casual marks.

Roving, shooting at rovers.

S.

Set, the Shaft in the bow, so that in pulling, the arrow gets beyond the belly of the bow, and touches it in its return.

Shaft, an arrow wanting the head only.

Shaftment, that part of the arrow whereon the feathers are placed.

Shake, a longitudinal crack, often caused by the wind or weather, or by the bow or wood being kept in too dry or hot a place.

Sheaf, of Arrows, a Quiver or Case of twenty-four in number.

Shoot, an arrow shot.

Sinking a bow, reducing the spirit or stiffness of it.

Snake, an arrow is said to snake, when it buries, or works itself under the grass.

Spell, a rising of the grain of the wood.

Spoony, see petticoat.

Stand, an arrow stands in the bow, if it be placed so as to fly from it steadily.

Stele, an arrow without feather or head.

T

Tab, a piece of flat leather used instead of shooting gloves.

Target, a mark to shoot at, consisting of circles.

Target-card, used in scoring when shooting at the targets, formed like unto the targets with the several circles coloured.

Tiller, an instrument used in altering a bow. It has a large notch at the top of it to hold the handle of the bow, and small notches on the upper side to place the string in, when trying the bow previous to scraping it

Tillering, trying the bending of a bow by the tiller.

U.

Under-bowed, when an archer uses a bow that is too weak for him to shoot well with.

W.

Weight of a bow, or power which it requires to draw it up to the length of the arrow destined for it

Wind down, which blows from the shooter directly to the mark. Wind up, which blows from the mark to the shooter.

Wind side, when it blows across the line of the mark.

Wide arrow, so called, when it falls wide of the mark.

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