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On target

Getting targets ready for archery competition at the Gore Estate

Teddy Kokoros got to an archery competition at the Gore Estate in Waltham a little early today and so was able to watch them set up the targets.

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They were there around a month ago when we went sledding at the Gore Estate.

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Voting closed 11

A bovine ocular thingy doesn't seem to have much in common with colored, concentric rings.

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Voting closed 9

But hitting it is just as hard as... Hitting a bulls eye. Which is what they were doing over in jolly old England to practice archery and to show off their skills. They would use the skull of a bull for target practice.

The the "aren't you glad you asked" files.

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Voting closed 14

Are you confusing a bull with a cyclops? Surely a bull's skull has 2 eye sockets.

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Voting closed 7

The Oxford English Dictionary's earliest citation for the use of "bull's eye" to indicate the center of an archery target is from 1833, which is a bit late for sturdy yeomen practicing at the longbow. There are citations for a number of other figurative uses, such as a certain kind of watch, or a disc of glass set into a ship's side to let in light, but most of them are from around the same time. One usage, however, is significantly earlier, with citations going back to 1699; slang for a crown-piece. A crown was a large coin worth 5 shillings, a nice bit of change in 1699. It is easy to imagine such a coin being used as an archery target.

Note: to any one looking to make a start in folk etymology (it's fun! Anyone can do it!), "it is easy to imagine" is an invaluable phrase.

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Voting closed 11