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.
- ‘The daytime activities are free and there will be something for everyone including a mobile skittle alley and a bouncy castle.’
- ‘The skittles set (the English equivalent to 10-pin bowling) comprised six plastic bowling pins and two plastic balls.’
- ‘Graham used to like playing the odd game of skittles but apart from that they were always together.’
- ‘Adult skittles then finishes off Wednesday's with the games starting at 9.30 am sharp.’
- ‘Activities range from bingo and skittles to discos, barbecues and occasional outings.’
- ‘Reg Hinders won the skittles and billiards titles.’
- ‘The last time I recall going there was in about 1983, to play a game of skittles.’
- ‘There were lots of stalls and games, including darts, skittles and a hoopla.’
- ‘I couldn't find the old skittle alley, but thankfully they still have a bar.’
- ‘More than 100 members meet fortnightly at Woodborough Social Club and enjoy skittles, pool, bingo and disco dancing.’
- ‘Alex was a real livewire and had loads of energy and many a happy time we had playing football and skittles.’
- ‘On Tuesday there is the healthy cooking class at 7.30 pm, while adult skittles takes place on Wednesday at 9.30 pm.’
- ‘His local was the West End Working Men's Club, in Audley Road, Chippenham, and he enjoyed playing darts, pool, skittles and bingo.’
- ‘One of their pastimes was to play skittles with round stones.’
- ‘On Wednesday there is the usual adult skittles at 9.30 pm, while on Thursday night at 9pm there is the usual whist.’
- ‘On Wednesday there is adult skittles in Dorsey community centre at 9.30 pm.’
- ‘In this crude sport one sends a large sphere towards a collection of skittles, from which one scores ‘points’.’
- ‘Members enjoyed a variety of games, bingo, skittles and a guess the baby competition as well as a drinks reception.’
- ‘He even claimed that it had a skittle alley that was in regular use.’
- ‘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.’
2A pin used in the game of skittles.
- ‘They will each be given a turkey and asked to bowl it down the ice towards some skittles.’
- ‘He ran the length of the pitch, knocking Leigh defenders down like skittles to score a sensational try and claim victory for Keighley.’
- ‘It would seem a reasonable confusion if the game equipment included both skittles and hoops/rings?’
- ‘The table featured a croquet-like hoop at one end called the ‘Port’ and an upright skittle at the other called the ‘King’.’
- ‘Each skittle scores differing numbers of points and success is largely a matter of luck.’
- ‘It would have involved bowling frozen turkeys down the ice at skittles.’
- ‘The large skittle is presumably a king pin as featured in some of the modern versions of skittles.’
- ‘This float looks like a miniature skittle seen in a bowling lane.’
- ‘The ball hit him square in the forehead and he fell like a skittle.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Sunday knocked us down like skittles and we decided it was time to go.’
- ‘Pete E and Tom wisely moved out the way as they would have been knocked over like skittles!’
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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