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Category: General

Archery Glossary
Common and less common archery terms explained.
 

A Glossary of Archery



Collated by
Stephen F. Wyley







[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]







A






Adaya:
An arrow which has missed it's target, Japan.


Alborium:
A bow made from hazel, 11th century.


Anak, Panah:
An arrow, Malay.


Anchor:
The location to which the hand that draws the bow string is positioned to when at full draw.



Anchor point:
The place where an arrows nock is drawn to before release, usually the chin, cheek, ear or chest. Used to help aiming.


Aquande-da:
The leather bracer of the Omaha.


Arbalest, Arbalete, Alblast, Arblast:
The European crossbow of the Middle Ages.


Arbalete a Cric:
A crossbow drawn by a rack and pinion.


Arbalete a Jalet, Pellet crossbow, Prodd:
A crossbow set up to shoot stones instead of bolts.


Arbalest a Tour:
A crossbow drawn by a windlass.


Arbalestina:
A cruciform aperture in a wall of a fortification from which a crossbow was shot.


Arbrier:
The stock of a crossbow.


Archer's guard:
See bracer.


Archer's paradox:
In period bows (without a shelf or centre shot) the arrow which is properly shot will fly in the line of aim although the string propelling the arrow moves directly to the centre of the bow. The arrow in fact bends around the bow after release but after passing the bow returns to its proper line of flight. See Spine.



Archer's ring, Thumb ring:
An effective Eastern method of drawing the bow string while using the thumb
protected by a ring.


Archer's Stake:
A sharpened wooden stake driven into the ground pointing away from an archer to protect against cavalry.


Arcuballista:
The ancient form of ballista.


Arcubalista unis pedis:
A crossbow which only needs one foot to assist drawing the string.


Arrow:
The missile shot by an archer from a bow.


Arrow guide:
See Majrã, Solenarion.


Arrowhead:
The striking end of an arrow, usually made of a different type of material from the shaft such as iron, flint or bronze, depending the purpose of the arrow.


Arrowsmith:
A maker of metal arrowheads.


Ascham:
[1] A tall narrow cupboard for storage of bows and arrows.
[2] Roger Ascham, 1515 - 1568, author of Toxophilus (1545).


Arrow spacer:
A circular piece of leather pierced by 24 holes used to keep the shafts of a sheath of arrows apart from each other and prevent damage to the flights during transport.


Azusa-yumi:
A small bow used in magic, Japan.






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B





Back of the bow:

The surface of the bow furthest from the archer when they hold the bow in the firing position.


Backed bow:
A bow consisting primarily of wood but having a thin strip of a material (wood or hide) attached to the back of the bow.


Balista, Ballista:

An engine sometimes in the form of a huge crossbow, used to project darts or stone balls.


Banqui, Hanqui:

A short bow wrapped with rattan, Japan.


Barb:

A rearward turned point on an arrow head.


Barrelled:
An arrow which is thickest in the middle and tapers to the ends.


Bastard string:

A string used to draw the bow of a crossbow so that the regular string can be strung.


Bedor, Pana:

An arrow with a leaf shaped or barbed head, Java.


Bel:

A small bow used by children to shoot fish, Nicobar Islands.


Belly of the bow:

The surface of the bow closest to the archer when they hold the bow in the firing
position.


Bend uter:

[1] A toy crossbow where the bolts are shot through a tube.
[2] A slur bow.


Bitla:

An arrow with a point of hard wood, Travancore.


Bodkin:

A type of arrow head.


Bois d' arc:

The French named osage orange (toxylon pomiferum) because the wood was used by the Indians of the Southwest for their bows.


Bolt, Carreau, Quarrel:

The missile projected from a crossbow.


Borsun:
Buriat for a plaited straw archery butt shaped like a skittle pin. Used in an archery contest were the object of the contest is to dislodge the stake with an arrow and drive it the furthest from its original position. See Mishen.


Boson:

An arrow with a head with rounded knob with a sharp point projecting.


Bow:

A projectile weapon consisting of a shaft with the two ends joined by a string used to shoot arrows.


Bow arm:
The arm which holds the bow.


Bow case:

Mainly an Eastern usage, made of leather to accommodate the lower half of the recurve bow.


Bowman:
An archer.


Bow marks:

Archery targets.


Bow puller:
A supposed Roman release aid made from bronze.


Bow release:

The way a bow string is released when loosing an arrow. Varieties of release techniques
included; primary, secondary, tertiary, Mediterranean, Flemish and Mongolian.


Bow stave:
A roughly trimmed length of wood from which a complete self bow is fashioned.


Bowstring:

The string of bow made from such materials as; plant fibre, silk or sinew, used to transfer the energy from the bow to the arrow.


Bowyer:

A maker of bows.


Brace:

To string a bow.



Bracer, Archer's guard, Arm guard:
A covering for an archer's left wrist, used to protect the wrist from the slap of the string.


Brandbolzen:
Swiss incendiary crossbow bolts from the 15th century.


Breast:
The part of an arrow which touches the bow when the arrow is placed on the string ready to be drawn.


Broad arrow:

An arrow with a broad barbed head.


Broadhead:
A wide steel arrowhead used on hunting arrows.


Butt:

[1] An earthen mound used as a backing for a target.
[2] A target made from compacted straw.


Butt fields:
English public archery practice grounds, 15th century.


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C





Cast:

The ability of a bow to project an arrow.


Challa:

The string of a Bhil bow (kamptu), Central India. Both bow and string were made of bamboo.


Chodo-kake:

A bow and arrow stand, Japan.


Chrysal:
A transverse crack in the belly of a wooden bow caused by the crushing of the fibres.


Chu-ko nu:

A Chinese repeating crossbow.


Claw:

A hook on the belt of a crossbowmen used to draw the string on the crossbow. The crossbow was held by
putting the foot in a stirrup at the front and the claw was hooked on the string as the crossbowmen was bending over, as the crossbowmen straightened up the string was drawn into position behind the nut.


Cloth yard arrow:

An arrow of a certain length used for medieval English arrows, about 36 inches in length.


Clout:

A white cloth placed on the ground as a marker for long distance shooting.


Clout shoot:

An archery contest where the aim is to hit a target laid out horizontally on the ground.


Cocker:
A quiver.


Cock feather:

The feather at right angles to the string position in the nock on three feathered arrows.


Compound bow:
A modern bow using a system of one or more pulleys to develop mechanical advantage.


Compound crossbow:
A crossbow fitted with pulleys dating from the 15th century.


Composite bow:
A recurve bow made from a number of materials laminated together (eg. wood, sinew and horn).


Corytus, coryto:

A bow case.


Cranequin, Cric:

A rack and pinion turned by a crank used to draw a medium sized crossbow.


Creep:
Allowing the arrow to edge forward at full draw just before the release of the arrow.


Cresting:
The identifying coloured rings applied to the arrow shaft forward of the fletchings used to mark ownership.


Crossbow:

A projectile weapon consisting of a bow attached at right angles to a shaft. When the string was drawn it was held by a nut. The bolt was loaded and the nut was released by a lever turning the nut thus firing the bolt.


Curare:

The poison used on arrows and blow pipe darts in South America.


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D





Da:

An arrow, Western Tibet.


Daikyu:

A large bow, Japan.


Dhanu:

The personification of the bow in Hindu mythology.


Diwal:

An arrow of the Javan Gods.


Dohyo yari:

A large quiver, Japan.


Dokyu:

A Japanese repeating crossbow.


Dornlach, Dornloch:

A Scottish quiver.


Draw:

The act of bending the bow to full arrow length by drawing the string backwards while holding the bow
steady.


Draw length:

The length the bow is drawn to the anchor point.


Draw weight:

The force required to draw a bow to full arrow length, usually measure in pounds at a certain
draw length measured in inches.


Dzu:

A Tibetan bow.


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E





Ebira, Yebira:

A Japanese quiver hung from the left shoulder.


Ela (Da):

The Nicobar harpoon arrow.


Endong:

A quiver, Java.


Espringald, Espringal, Springal, Springald:

An engine used to cast large darts, similar to a ballista.


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F





Feathers:

The flights on an arrow to aid in stability in flight.


Fistmele:

The measurement of the distance from the grip to the string of a bow, usually measured by placing
a fist on the grip with the thumb extended towards the bowstring.


Flatbow:

A modern bow with flat section limbs made from fibreglass and wood laminations, often referred to as a longbow.


Fletcher:

[1] An arrow maker.
[2] A person who attaches fletches to arrows.


Fletching:

To add flights to an arrow.


Flemish loose:

A loose using two fingers only.


Flemish string:

A bow string made in such a way that the loops are plaited from material without the addition of serving.


Flight shoot:

An archery distance shooting competition.


Flo:

A swift arrow.


Flu Flu arrow:

An arrow with large feathers used for targets thrown in the air or shooting birds.


Foin:

A Nicobar crossbow.


Footed arrow:

An arrow reinforced with a spliced hardwood foreshaft.

Fore shaft:

A supplementary hard wood shaft added to the front end of a shaft.


Fujihanashi:

A bow, Japan.


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G





Gaffe:

See goat's foot lever.


Gastrapheten:

A Roman engine based on the crossbow.


Gendawa:

A bow, Java.


Gietdaugie:

A Laplanders bow.


Gi-ghet:

A bow string, Sabanus of Mindanae.


Goat's foot, Hind's foot, Pied de biche:

A system of articulated levers used to span a crossbow.


Godle:

Buriat for arrow.


Gokyu:

A strong bow, Japan.


Graffle:

A hook fastened to the belt by which some of the early crossbows were spanned.


Group:

Used for a number of arrows close together on a target.


Gulail, Golail, Ghulel, Gulel:

The Indian pellet bow.


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H





Hadahk:

Buriat for quiver.


Hage-ro:

To nock an arrow on the bow, Japan.


Hama yumi:

A bow used for driving away evil spirits, Japan.


Hamus:

A hook or spur projecting at right angles at the base of an arrow, Latin.


Han kyu:

A small bow, Japan.


Hao shi, Ming ti:

A Chinese whistling arrow.


Hazu:

The nock of an arrow.


Herse:

A defence work consisting of sharpened wooden stakes driven into the ground pointing towards the
oncoming enemy, used to protect archers from cavalry charge.


Herse of Archers:

A wedge formation of archers supported on the flanks by men-at-arms, used by the English during the Hundred Years War.


Hia:

A Chinese hand crossbow.


Hide-tace:

A target arrow with a blunt conical head used by boys when learning how to shoot, Omaha.


Hikime:

An arrow with a perforated head, Japan.


Hiki-ya:

A Japanese whistling arrow.


Hime kabura:

A grooved arrow head, Japan.


Hipa:

Arrow cement, Omaha.


Hira yanagui:

A flat quiver, Japan.


Hi-ya:

A fire arrow or rocket, Japan.


Hoko-yumi, Otokane:

A tartar shaped bow, Japan.


Horomgo:

Buriat for bowcase.


Hyoto:

The sound of an arrow, Japan.


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I





I-ai:

The art of drawing a long bow, Japan.


I-ba:

An archery range, Japan.


Igurumi:

The practice of shooting birds with arrows with cords attached to the arrows, Japan.


I-iro:

To shoot with a bow, Japan.


Ika:

An Ainu quiver.


Ikuba:

[1] A Japanese target.
[2] A tent used for archery, Japan.


Instinctive shooting:
Shooting without the aid of sights, used particularly in field archery and hunting.


Ipoh:

A poison used on arrows and blow pipe darts, Malaysia.


Ipudligadlin:

An Eskimo bear arrow, Point Barrow.


Ishihajiki:

A balista, Japan.


Ishiyumi:

A pellet bow, Japan.


Ite:

A Japanese archer.


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J








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K





Kabura-ya, Hiniki-ya:

A Japanese whistling arrow.


Kachi-yuki:

A Japanese quiver.


Kachi-yumi:

Shooting a bow while on foot, Japan.


Kaidaliki:

A type of Russian arrow.


Kaku uchi:

Target shooting, Japan.


Kalchan:

Russian for quiver.


Kaman:

An Indian composite bow.


Kamãn-i tahš:

Persian for dart bow. See Arrow guide.


Kari ebira:

A type of Japanese quiver.


Karimata:

A forked arrow head, Japan.


Ka ryntich:

The Khasi bow.


Kasun:

A Burmese self bow.


Ki-hoko:

A Japanese arrow with a pear-shaped wooded head.


Ki khnam:

Arrows, Khasi (Assam).


King of the Popinjay:

The crossbowmen whom was first to hit the popinjay in a contest from the 15th century
onwards.



Kiri:

The circles of a target, Japan.


Kixodwain:

An arrow with a blunt, wedge shaped head used for hunting small birds, Point Barrow.


Koltschan:

A Russian quiver.


Kolv:

Blunt headed arrows for shooting squirrel, Sweden.


Kukiksadlin:

A type of bear arrow, Point Barrow.


Kumptas:

The bows and bowmen of the Meenas, Rajestan.


Kung:

A Chinese reflex bow.


Kuri-ya:

A type of arrow made from a peculiar species of bamboo from Mount Kayasan.


Kuro-boshi:

The bull's eye of a target, Japan.


Kusune:

A special kind of Japanese bowstring, softer than the ordinary type.


Kutsumaki:

The wrappings of an arrow next to the head to prevent the shaft splitting from the pressure
exerted by the tang of the arrow head.


Kyu:

A bow, Japan.


Kyu-do:

The art and practice of archery, Japan.


Kyujutsu:

Archery, Japan.


Kyusen:

A bow and arrows, Japan.


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L





Langkap:

A strong bow, Bali.


Latch:

English name for the crossbow, 16th century.


Lepa:

A bow, Newan, Nepal.


Lezam:

A stiff bow of bamboo or whalebone spanned by a heavy chain with loosely attached iron plates. Used
in for training in India, the training could tell with the archers stopped practicing by the lack of noise.


Limb:

One of the arms of a bow, from grip to tip.


Li-pun,

pa-na: An arrow, Sunbanum of Mindanae.


Longbow:

A self bow, usually the height of the user, preferably made of yew and made famous by the English
at Cresy, Poiters and Agincourt.


Loose:

To release the string of a bow to propel an arrow towards it's target.


Luk:

Russian for bow.


Lumo: A

bow, Sanchuan, China.



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M









Ma:

An arrow, Omaha.


Ma-ciquacle:

Arrow polishers, Omaha.


Mahi-si:

An arrow head, Omaha.


Majiha:

A quiver, Omaha.


Majrã, Mijrãt, Qasab:

An arrow guide.


Makagoya:

A hunting arrow, Japan.


Makiwara:

A straw bundle used as a target, Japan.


Maktah:

An Indian self bow.


Malila:

The Veddah bow, Sri Lanka.


Malleolus:

A fire arrow made of cane or reed.


Mande:

A bow, Omaha.


Manuballista:

The Latin for crossbow. See Arbalest.


Maru-ki:

A round wooden bow, Japan.


Masaqtihi:

'Real arrow wood' (Viburnum) used for arrow shafts, Omaha.


Mato-ya, saso-ya:

Blunt arrows with wooden heads used for target practice, Japan.


Matras:

A hunting crossbow bolt with a round disc on the head, so as not to damage the pelt.


Mawida:

A set of arrows, Omaha.


Mediterranean loose:

The three fingered loose used by Western archers.


Meiteki:

A whistling arrow, Japan.


Mishen:

Russian for a plaited straw archery butt shaped like a skittle pin. Used in an archery contest were the object of the contest is to dislodge the stake with an arrow and drive it the furthest from its original position. See Borsun.


Mongolian loose:

The loose used by Asiatic archers where the thumb is hooked around the string.


Moriankatu:

Arrows of the Veddah, Sri Lanka.


Mota:

A target, Japan.


Mota ba:

A place for target shooting, Japan.


Motohazu:

The ends of a bow, Japan.


Moulinet:

The apparatus consisting of tackles and windlass used to span a large crossbow.


Munjaneka:

Balistas used by the Tartar Ali at the siege of Chitore, late 13th century.


Mushettae:

A type of crossbow bolt fletched with cardboard, 14th century.


Musquet arrow, Spright:

In the early development of firearms wooden arrows were used along side lead shot as
missiles.


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N





Nakhuna:

An archer's ring, Central India.


Naluchie:

Russian for bowcase.


Nalutsch:

A type of Russian bowcase.


Nãwak:

Persian for arrow guide. See Majrã.


Nayin:

A crossbow of the Mpangwe of the Gaboon River.


Nijiri:

The handle of a bow, Japan.


No:

An arrow shaft, Japan.


Nock:

[1] The end of an arrow with a notch in it for the string.
[2] The grooves in the tips of the limbs of
bow to fit the bowstring.
[3] The act of fitting an arrow to the string.


Nocking point:

The place on the bowstring where the arrow is placed for firing.


Nomo homo:

Buriat for bow.


Nu:

A crossbow, China.


Nukigomedo, Nunigomedo,




Nut:

The part of the release mechanism of a crossbow where the string sits when the crossbow is drawn.


Nutkodlin:

A deer arrow, Point Barrow.


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O





Omodake:

An arrow head, Japan.


Otogane:

Metal tips on a bow, Japan.


Otsuba:

The feathered end of an arrow, Japan.


Ouruma:

A species of yew used by the Ainu to make their bows.


O-yumi:

[1] A large bow, Japan.
[2] A crossbow used in the defence of a castle, Japan.


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P





Panah:

A bow, Malaysia.


Papegay:

See Popinjay.


Pavis, Pavoise, Pavas, Pavais Pavise, Pavacke, Tallevas, Talvas, Taloche:

A large shield with a prop, used
to protect archers or crossbowmen during sieges and battles.


Paviser:

A person who carried and supported a pavise.


Peacock arrows:

Arrows of the 14th century fletched with peacock feathers.


Pellet bow, Stone bow:




Pellet Crossbow, Prodd:




Pied de biche:

See Goat's foot lever.


Pile:

A type of arrow head used for target shooting


Pizikse:

A bow, Point Barrow.


Piziksizax:

A bow case, Point Barrow.


Popinjay:

A figure of a bird suspended from a pole and used as a target by archers and crossbowmen.


Prodd:

See Arbalete a Jalet.


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Q





Quarrel:

See bolt.


Qasab:

See Majrã.


Qaws al-husbãn, Qaws murakkabah àlã l-majrã:

Arabic for dart bow. See Majrã.


Quiver, Querquer:

A bag or case to carry arrows.


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R





Rama ma:

A bow, Wetter Island.


Rama isihn:

Arrows of Wetter Island.


Rankling Arrow:

An arrow with a detachable head which remains in the wound when the arrow is removed.


Rauchköcher:

An arrow quiver of the 'Landsknechte', covered with fur and containing arrows up to 100 cm long with their heads pointing upwards.


Recurve bow:

A bow where the limbs bend away from the archer when held in the firing position.


Ribeaudiquin, Ribeaudeau:

An engine based on a crossbow with a bow about eight feet wide.


Rimankyu:

A frame for carrying a small bow and it's arrows, Japan.


Rochettes:

Fire arrows thrown by balistas, 14th century.


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S






Sa:

An arrow, Japan.


Sadak, Saghdach:

The equipment of an archer, Russia.


Saghdak:

A Western Tibetan quiver.


San Kung Nu:

An Indo-Persian multi-bowed crossbow.


Satsu ya:

A hunting arrow, Japan.


Satsu yumi:

A hunting bow, Japan.


Savidlin:

A type of bear arrow, Point Barrow.


Schnepper:

A German crossbow from the 17th to 18th century.


Sefin:

A Turkish archer's thumb ring.


Self bow:

A bow made from one piece of wood.


Severgi:

A type of Russian arrow.


Sha, Shagai:

Archery, Japan.


Shaft:

The body of an arrow.


Sha ho:

The rules of archery, Japan.


Shateki:

An archer, Japan.


Sheath of arrows:

A bundle of twenty four arrows.


Shigeto yumi:

A large bow rapped with rattan, Japan.


Shiko:

A Japanese quiver worn on the right side.


Shingeto:

A Japanese bow wrapped with coils of red cane on a black background.


Shishi ya:

A hunting arrow, Japan.


Short bow:

A bow usually half the height of the archer using the bow.


Shuri:

The shaft of an Ainu arrow.


Si or:

The pellet bow of the Toba Ba

 
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