One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pair of parallel lines, especially at the sides of a tennis court (enclosing the extra width used in doubles play) or at the sides or back of a badminton court.
- ‘Four irate doubles players were chasing her wind-blown research notes and paperwork around the tramlines so that they could resume hostilities.’
- ‘He levels at 30-30 with a fine second serve but goes break point down after he sends his cross-court forehand into the tramlines.’
- ‘If the batter hits the ball behind the tramlines that extend into the stands from the lines marking first and third base this is called a foul.’
- ‘The suspect is described as black, 6ft 1in, thin, with short black hair with two tramlines down the left side.’
- ‘My reach extended from the centre of the court to the tramlines of the neighbouring one but it also made everything wildly unstable.’
- ‘But, like tennis, the court possesses tramlines, acting as boundaries, and a net, far higher at 150cm.’
Late 19th century: from the resemblance to the rails for a tram.
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