DVS Digital Badminton
Badminton for Beginners
NOTE: This is borrowed mostly from Peter Wieriks' work on the
DVS home page, which is long since defunct. Supplemental items submitted by
Beau Weston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Everything you always wanted to know about badminton but were afraid to ask
As an introduction for beginning players- and for those who have
been doing it for some time but never knew exactly what it was that they
have been doing- here's an explanatory list with the most important terms
in modern badminton.
- Alley - where badminton was played before legalization in 1873.
- Ankle - Dutch word for single. Also: vital part of the lower
leg that can start to hurt like hell at any given moment (when you 'sprain'
it), so that you have to keep your leg up into the air for weeks and have
yourself regularly palpated by some creep of a physiotherapist.
- Australian doubles - When you face two opponents all alone because your
partner is "down under" from one too many Fosters.
- Backhand - Your typical badminton player has, besides a left
hand and a right hand, a backhand and a forehand as well. With righthanded
players the backhand is on the lefthand side and with lefthanded players
vice versa (with one-armed players the backhand is on the stump side by
definition). Backhand is very difficult.
- Back service line - the short line at the back of the doubles service
court, which is irrelevant after the serve and in singles - that is, an
incomprehensible device, much like hockey's "blue line."
- Badminton - Named after Lord Edward `bad' Minton (1817-1926),
Attorney General in British India; Pitiful forehand the chap had. The tale
that Badminton would be the name of the estate of the Duke of Beaufort in
England, where the game is supposedly played for the first time, shouldn't
be taken seriously.
- Ball - Is only used with badminton in the expression: `good
ball!'. Quality in a shuttle will usually be described with: `nice
- Clear - High stroke from one end of the field to the other.
Isn't very easy altogether. Boys are usually better at it than girls, let
that be clear.
- Condition - The opposite of poor stamina. Cannot be purchased
and can only be obtained by tenaciously running rounds, doing pushups and
- Drive - Nice song from The Cars, from the LP Heartbeat
City of 1986.
Also: hard, flat stroke.
- Drop - When you drop the shuttle, be sure it's on the other
side of the net. You may apologize to your opponent about it, and ask him
to pick it up and return it to you. There you have a point!
- Doubles service rules - if you have to ask, play singles.
- Even service court - for twilight play.
- Finish - Badminton is war. He who has trouble finishing his
opponent is better off playing the game of goose.
- Flick service - Clever, fast, dexterous - or unexpected,
unsporting, mean *service (depending on if it's you or your opponent being
able to perform one)
- Forehand - Just about the opposite of *backhand.
- Gut - the best place to hit your opponent with a stone-hard *smash.
- Hairpin Drop - generally occurs only in Laidies' games.
- Iron - Exclusively used as an exclamation (`Shit! Iron!')
when the *shuttle is being hit innacurately. Stems from the long gone past
when *rackets weren't usually made out of carbon fibre reinforced
polycyclical autoclave processed thermosetting composites, but out of iron
- Ladies' doubles - With badminton all women and girls suddenly
are being called 'ladies' (while everyone knows that a proper lady will
never be running and jumping on a playing-field like a fool). In doubles
there are two of them.
- Let - what you must do when you can't afford your own court.
- Lob(e) - Part of the brain where the badminton centre is located.
- Men's doubles - Ladies' doubles, but with men (or boys). Why
men aren't properly being called 'gentlemen' in badminton remains unclear.
Is it because a gentleman will walk but never run?
- Mix - Each game with four participants that isn't a *ladies'
doubles or a *men's doubles. Is usually preceded by the invitation: 'Wanna
- Odd service court - Reserved for eccentric (that is, English) players.
- Overhead - Even more difficult than *backhand.
- Overhead-forehand-clear - Is really, really difficult,
especially to pronounce.
- Racket - Literally: loud noise. Try and hit a cymbal, shop
window or football support with it and you'll see why this is.
- Rally - Exchange of strokes. Probably came into use after the
notorious fight during the 24-hours men's doubles in Monte Carlo (1917).
- Service - Be nice to your opponent once in a while. Pick the
*shuttle from the floor after you've won a *rally and pass it to him. He
may do anything with it that he wants - except returning it of course.
- Service court - place of judicial proceedings against rude badminton
players; presided over by Justice Learned Backhand.
- Setting - Just when you thought the counting system of
badminton was a masterpiece of simplicity, you get situations that seem
- Shuttle - To and fro, it keeps going to and fro. Obviously
named after the unwearying American spacecraft.
- Side-by-side - System at which the players have sworn to
stand by each other and to each defend their own territory.
- Single - Nice unattached man or woman seeks other nice
unattached man or women for a good bit of...
- Smash - Stone-hard blow with no subtlety whatsoever.
- Tattoo - A very pretty round mark given an opponent (or
partner) for free (well, with a partner, _you_ may need to pay for it) when they
happen to get in the way of a hard-hit shot.
- Up-and-back - spontaneous do-see-do during a badminton game to confuse your
opponents (see *side-by-side).
- Warning - Some of the above terms aren't real badminton
words at all. Sorry.
- Wood - See Iron
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