One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1skittlestreated as singular A game played, chiefly in Britain, with wooden pins, typically nine in number, set up at the end of an alley to be bowled down with a wooden ball or disk.
- ‘More than 100 members meet fortnightly at Woodborough Social Club and enjoy skittles, pool, bingo and disco dancing.’
- ‘One of their pastimes was to play skittles with round stones.’
- ‘The daytime activities are free and there will be something for everyone including a mobile skittle alley and a bouncy castle.’
- ‘In this crude sport one sends a large sphere towards a collection of skittles, from which one scores ‘points’.’
- ‘Alex was a real livewire and had loads of energy and many a happy time we had playing football and skittles.’
- ‘The last time I recall going there was in about 1983, to play a game of skittles.’
- ‘The skittles set (the English equivalent to 10-pin bowling) comprised six plastic bowling pins and two plastic balls.’
- ‘He even claimed that it had a skittle alley that was in regular use.’
- ‘His local was the West End Working Men's Club, in Audley Road, Chippenham, and he enjoyed playing darts, pool, skittles and bingo.’
- ‘There were lots of stalls and games, including darts, skittles and a hoopla.’
- ‘Adult skittles then finishes off Wednesday's with the games starting at 9.30 am sharp.’
- ‘Members enjoyed a variety of games, bingo, skittles and a guess the baby competition as well as a drinks reception.’
- ‘Activities range from bingo and skittles to discos, barbecues and occasional outings.’
- ‘On Wednesday there is adult skittles in Dorsey community centre at 9.30 pm.’
- ‘Graham used to like playing the odd game of skittles but apart from that they were always together.’
- ‘On Wednesday there is the usual adult skittles at 9.30 pm, while on Thursday night at 9pm there is the usual whist.’
- ‘Reg Hinders won the skittles and billiards titles.’
- ‘Then on Wednesday at 9.30PM the name of the game is adult skittles and week ends as per usual with Whist on Thursday at 9pm.’
- ‘On Tuesday there is the healthy cooking class at 7.30 pm, while adult skittles takes place on Wednesday at 9.30 pm.’
- ‘I couldn't find the old skittle alley, but thankfully they still have a bar.’
2A pin used in the game of skittles.
- ‘Pete E and Tom wisely moved out the way as they would have been knocked over like skittles!’
- ‘They will each be given a turkey and asked to bowl it down the ice towards some skittles.’
- ‘The large skittle is presumably a king pin as featured in some of the modern versions of skittles.’
- ‘Each skittle scores differing numbers of points and success is largely a matter of luck.’
- ‘Sunday knocked us down like skittles and we decided it was time to go.’
- ‘The ball hit him square in the forehead and he fell like a skittle.’
- ‘The table featured a croquet-like hoop at one end called the ‘Port’ and an upright skittle at the other called the ‘King’.’
- ‘This float looks like a miniature skittle seen in a bowling lane.’
- ‘Wandering among its pillars, I felt like an ant among the pins of a bowling alley: 134 awesome skittles, each more elaborately decorated than the last.’
- ‘It would seem a reasonable confusion if the game equipment included both skittles and hoops/rings?’
- ‘We have been falling over like skittles and that's one game we probably could have done with playing when it was scheduled for.’
- ‘This forerunner to 10-pin bowling involves flinging a ‘cheese’ through the air at 9 hornbeam skittles.’
- ‘It would have involved bowling frozen turkeys down the ice at skittles.’
- ‘He ran the length of the pitch, knocking Leigh defenders down like skittles to score a sensational try and claim victory for Keighley.’
Mid 17th century: of unknown origin. The word skyttel exists in Danish and Swedish in the sense ‘shuttle, child's marble’, but there is no evidence to connect this with the game of skittles.
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