Friday, November 9, 2012


Meaning: My favourite thing, but if you'd like a longer definition, the online Oxford says:
an open-air game played on a large grass field with ball, bats, and two wickets, between teams of eleven players, the object of the game being to score more runs than the opposition
Usefulness: 1 (if you talk about it as much as I do. I'm rather impressed I've done 77 posts without mentioning it here.)

Logofascination: 2 (etymology unknown, and about as many theories as people to ask: the Inky Fool talks about a possible connection to stool-ball, wiktionary features someone else's theory about Dutch origins, and there's a bunch more theories over at wikipedia.)

In the wild: the first Test of the Australian summer started today. Technically it's still spring down under, but cricket = summer.

Degrees: 1 (I get excited about geeky things, but finding cricket mentioned in Urquhart's G&P might well be my Geekiest Moment Ever.)

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, First Book, XXII: The games of Gargantua, which as previously mentioned is a list of the games from Gargantua's misspent youth: among other things he played
At gunshot crack.
At the toad.
At mustard peel.
At cricket.
At the gome.
At the pounding stick.     
Rabelais has à la crosse where Urquhart has cricket, no doubt thanks to Cotgrave's definition of crosse:
A crosier, or Bishops staffe; also, a Cricketstaffe; or, the crooked staffe wherewith boyes play at Cricket.
It's one of the earliest written references to cricket; the game has obviously changed since then, but the name has not.  I have no idea what those other games are, and neither do Frame or Smith. 

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