Missing Sense of "Basketball"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Jun 6 18:39:26 UTC 2006

On 6/6/06, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
> Also, OED has "tether-ball" (both the ball and the game).
> Curiously, it does NOT (apparently) have "dodge-ball,"
> except in a quotation illustrating "murderball":  "We used
> to call it dodge ball, but they call it murderball . . ."
> (Toronto, 1986).

Not so curious when you consider that the OED3 revisions have already
covered the M's but not the D's. (This also helps explain the
foreshortened entry for "basketball", which looks completely unrevised
from the olden days when North American sports were not exactly at the
top of the Oxonian agenda.)

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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