From Fletching to Nutmeg: The Strange Language of the Olympic Games

Friday, August 03, 2012

When it comes to the Olympics, there are some words we all know — namely gold, silver, and bronze. But the vocabulary of the Olympics goes far beyond the winning medals.

For example: Can you define the word “fletching”? Do you know what the branches are called in the ancient Olympians’ crowns? And for that matter, did you even know what dressage was before Anne Romney’s horse began competing in it?

Paul JJ Payack is the president of The Global Language Monitor walks us through some of the language and terminology that visits the world every four years.


Paul JJ Payack

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]


"DressAGE" is the proper French pronunciation of a French word. Sometimes English people and Anglophiles say "DRESSage" to annoy the French. My favorite obscure expression related to the Olympics (and to dressage) is "flying changes." It's the movement that looks as if the horse is skipping.

Aug. 03 2012 10:15 AM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Good lord, I thought Celeste said,"Felching!" I guess I have read different books than Celeste

Aug. 03 2012 09:40 AM
Benjamin Solotaire from Brooklyn


Aug. 03 2012 07:21 AM

At least I knew "fletching." And they said those hours devoted to playing Dungeons & Dragons during my youth were a waste...

Aug. 03 2012 07:03 AM

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