Wordmaster: racket

The instrument used for striking the ball in games such as tennis, badminton, and squash is known as a racket. This word derives via the Middle French raquette and Italian racchetta, from the Arabic rahah meaning “palm of the hand”.

Source:  The Penguin Wordmaster Dictionary, Martin Manser and Nigel Turton, eds., 1987.

I’m surprised that the Wordmaster dictionary uses the spelling “racket”. In my own use, I have always distinguished between “racket”, meaning “lots of noise” (as in, Stop making that racket!) and “racquet”, in reference to that thing you use to hit the ball in tennis or badminton.

When Canadian spelling differs from an American variant, usually we’re retaining the original English spelling. Wordmaster is an English dictionary, but here it uses what I consider to be an American spelling. Perhaps, in this instance, we Canadians are following the French?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Zayna
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 17:00:47

    I don’t know if it’s just me but it seems that these days English = American and putting a u in words like colour and neighbour either identifies you as a Canadian or a Brit. The same goes for words like cheque which American Enligsh spells as check.

    I’m with you though, a racket is just a whole lotta noise. 🙂

    Reply

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