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Last week we presented words used in games and sports. This week we'll see some words of broader use that originate in the game/sport worlds.

crapshoot – a risky enterprise
    If you've knit for a three-year-old, then you understand. Just because he says he wants purple mittens, and you believe you have knit purple mittens, there is no reason to believe that the three-year-old in question will believe that these are indeed purple mittens. It's a total crapshoot.
    – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
 
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From medieval French falconry. Hawks of the best temperament, pound and noble, were said to be de bonnne air, "of good air".

debonair - pleasant and affable in outward manner or address
    My thesis title was "Oliver St. John Gogarty: A Critical Study." ... I chose Gogarty because of my admiration for him. If I read him and wrote about him, some of his charm, talent and learning would surely rub off on me. I might develop some of his flash and dare, his flamboyant air. He was a Dublin character, and I hoped I might become a debonair, hard-drinking, poetic Irishman like him.
    - Frank McCourt, Teacher Man: A Memoir
 
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bandy-legged – with legs that curve outward at the knees
[Bandy was a 17c. Irish game, precursor of field hockey. "Bandy-legged" means "legs curved like the sticks used in bandy".]
    She was a kind of monster, cross-eyed, bandy-legged, poor in flesh and spirit.
    – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People (quoting Georgette Leblanc, Souvenirs: My Life with Maeterlinck)

    Commanding the most aggressive division in this corps was Philip Sheridan, a small, bandy-legged man whose only distinctions in the prewar army had been pugnacity and a handlebar mustache. The pugnacity served him well once the war gave him a chance.
    – James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
 
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well-heeled – well-off financially

From cock-fighting. A cock equipped with an artificial spur on its foot was called "heeled". From there, in the U.S. the term came to mean "armed with a gun," and then "armed with money".
    Root's death stunned Burnham, stunned Chicago. Burnham and Root had been partners and friends for eighteen years . … On Sunday Burnham attended … his burial in Graceland Cemetery, a charming haven for the well-heeled dead a few miles north of the Loop. On Monday he was back at his desk. ... The challenge ahead looked more daunting than ever.
    – Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City
 
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stymie – to impede, obstruct, frustrate, thwart (a person, an activity, or a project)

[From golf, where a stymie is a ball on the putting green that blocks another player's line between his own ball and the hole.]
    The New South Wales Department of Planning has refused to comment on reports that an endangered flower species could stymie housing development in the Queanbeyan area. It's understood the … Small Purple Pea is listed as a threatened species and is known to live in the Queanbeyan region.
    – IBN News, Australia, May 5, 2007
 
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Matthew "Stymie" Beard from Our Gang, The Little Rascals... named because of his curious wanderings around the studio, which the director could not control.
 
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Another nice word from golf:

dormie - in match play a side that stands as many holes ahead as there are holes remaining to be played


Myth Jellies
Cerebroplegia--the cure is within our grasp
 
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screwball – whimsically eccentric (noun: such a person)
[from an oddly-behaving pitch in baseball, which curves in the opposite direction of a regular curveball]
    Kathryn and Ross Petras' book pulls the demanding divas, screwball stars and celebu-twits off their pedestals …
    – Fort Worth Star Telegram, May 20, 2007

    They are bits of folklore that originated for screwball reasons …
    – Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language
 
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hat trick - three goals or other major achievement by player in a sport; hence occasionally, a threefold feat in other activities
[originally from cricket; common in football (soccer) and in ice hockey]

Czech: hattrick (same in Danish, Dutch, Slovak)
Estonian: kübaratrikk
Finnish: hattutemppu
German: der Hat-Trick
Norwegian: hat trick (same in Polish,and in Portuguese (Brazil), Swedish)
Romanian: hat-trick
Russian: хет-трик
    … the values promulgated by today's mass market. Happiness, in their terms, equals wealth, stardom, and thinness. Since few can achieve this rare hat trick in life, most people are left unhappy, and that's not right.
    – Allen Rucker and Michele Scicolone, The Sopranos Family Cookbook
 
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As mentioned, the term hat trick comes from cricket.In 1858 an all-England cricket team was playing a match against the Hallam XI. During the match, HH Stephenson of the All-England XI took three wickets in three balls. As was customary at the time for rewarding outstanding feats by professional players, a collection was made. The proceeds were used to buy a (reportedly white) hat, which was presented to Stephenson. Since then, it became the custom to present those who performed this feat with a new hat. The custom died out at the end of the nineteenth century, but the term remained, and was expanded to scoring three goals in a game in football (soccer) and hockey.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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The British cricket equivalent of a screwball is a googly, in that both are delivered by turning the hand over the ball towards the inside of the body rather than the natural spin. However, it doesn't have the semantic range of screwball, though I think one can say 'go all googly'. I'm not sure if 'googly-eyed' (which which I have seen written as google-eyed) is related
 
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The first great exponent of the googly in cricket was BJT Bosanquet, who toured Australia and New Zealand with an England team in 1902. He didn't invent the practice, though, as the term had been used several years before in Australia. It's also known in Australia as a "bosie" in his honour, or a "wrong 'un".

One suggestion of the origin of the term "googly" I found on http://www.notout.com.au/terms.htm - the delivery mystified the batsman so much it made their eyes ‘goggle’.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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