One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
treated as singular or plural (especially in South America) a missile consisting of a number of balls connected by strong cord, which when thrown entangles the limbs of the quarry.
- ‘A Zulu warrior performs a war dance; an Argentinean performs Flamenco with flashing bolas like silver whips.’
- ‘This bola comes in various weights and measurements, depending on the size of the game.’
- ‘Inspired by South American cowboys, some forces deploy bolas, several yards of rope weighted with rubber balls, to entangle a suspect's legs.’
- ‘With incredible skill and accuracy, you throw your bola at Alexander, entangling him and holding him in place.’
- ‘But technology remained limited to the branding of animals, the burning of natural pastures, and the use of lassoes, bolas, and knives.’
- ‘Fortunately, Grant is armed to the teeth to stop them, with his armory including shotguns, missile launchers, the faithful cattleprod, and my humble favorite, the bolas.’
- ‘Similar to a miniature bola, it is made of two small balls, stones, or shells wrapped in red cloth or paper and tied to a silk thread.’
- ‘There are leather softeners that can be used to soften the cords if you plan to throw this bola.’
Early 19th century: from Spanish and Portuguese, plural of bola ‘ball’.
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