A list of all the stupid words we archers have made up to talk about archery



Anchor – The place on your face you bring your hand back to to shoot

Bareshaft – An arrow without any fletches

Boss – The thing with targets on it that stops the arrows

Bouncer – An arrow that hit and bounced out of the target

Bracing height – The distance from the string to the arrow rest when the bow is at rest

Bubble – The psychological barrier between you and everything around you while you are shooting

BUCS – British Universities and Colleges Sport – The inter-university sports league

BUTC – British University Team Championship, one of the main inter-university archery competitions

Danage – The foamy material our bosses are made of

Detail – A group of archers that shoot at the same time (when there are too many people for everyone to shoot simultaneously)

Draw length – The distance between the string and the front of the bow when at full draw (unique to each archer)

Face – The piece of paper with a target printed on

Fire – A lighter

FITA – Federation Internationale de Tir a L’Arc, the previous name of the World Archery Federation

Full draw – The point at which you have pulled the string as far back as you can, just before releasing

GNAS – The Grand National Archery Society (now known as Archery GB)

Gold – The highest scoring ring on the target

Group – Arrows that hit the target close to each other (shot by one person)

Handedness – In archery, your handedness (left/right) is the hand with which you pull the string back

Hanger – An arrow that hits and then hangs vertically from the target

Loose – The manner in which you let go of the string to shoot

Novice – Someone who hasn’t shot before the start of the current academic year

P.B. – Personal Best, an archer’s best score at a certain round

Poundage/Weight – The peak amount of force required to pull your bow

Robin hood – An arrow that hit and went through another arrow already in the target (specifically, the arrow must be in the 10, otherwise it’s just bad luck)

Round – A scored set of shots at a certain distance with a certain number of arrows (rounds page)

SEALSouth East Archery League Southampton Empire Archery League

Serving – The coloured thread wrapped around the ends and middle of a bowstring

Sightmark – The numerical height setting of your sight for a certain distance

Spider – The x in the middle of the target

Stacking – When bow limbs require more force to bend further towards the end of the draw

Stance – The way you stand to shoot

String (verb) – To put a string on a bow

String picture –  Where in your field of view the string appears while you are aiming

Stringwalking – Changing where your arrows go by changing where you put your hand on the string rather than where you aim

SUAC – Southampton University Archery Club

Tiller – The perpendicular distance from the string to the bottom of the limb, or the difference in that distance between the two limbs

Toxophilia – Coolest philia known to man

Visualisation – A psychological technique in which you imagine how the shot is supposed to go before making it.

Windage – The left/right adjustment of a sight.


Parts of a bow

For more information see: recurve bows page
Riser – The main structural element of the bow. The bit you hold on to, and everything else is plugged in to.

Grip – The shaped part of the riser that your hand touches

Limb – The bendy wooden/carbon bits that the string is attached to

Rest – The bit the arrow rests on

Button – The springy plunger that the arrow rests against

Sight – The bit you aim at the target with

Clicker – A springy strip of material that rests on the arrow and falls off the tip once the arrow is drawn a certain distance

Limb bolt – The bolt that holds the limbs in

Limb adjustment bolts – The bolts that determine the alignment of the limbs

Shelf – The cutout in the riser, where the arrow would fall if it wasn’t on the rest.

Longrod – The long stabilisation rod that extends from the front of the riser

Extender – A short extension to a long rod

V-Bar – A V-shaped bar that allows side-rods to be attached between the longrod and riser

Side rods – Short stabilisation rods that extend sideways from the bottom of the longrod

Endweights – Weights at the end of longrods and siderods

Dampener – A flexible rubber part between a stabiliser and its endweights which absorbs vibration.

Cams (Compound) – The wheel-like rotating things attached to the ends of limbs that provide compound’s draw pattern.

Cables (Compound) – Two “strings” connected to both cams which pull on the limbs.

Blade/Launcher (Compound) – A type of arrow rest which uses a thin lizard-tongue metal plate.

Drop-away (Compound) – A type of arrow rest which drops away when firing.

Whisker-Biscuit (Compound) – A type of arrow rest which fully contains the arrow inside of flexible fibers.


Parts of an arrow

For more information see: arrows page
Shaft – The main structural element of the arrow. May be made of wood, aluminium, carbon or a composite.

Nock – The plastic clip that holds the arrow onto the string

Bushing – The thing the nock is inserted into, which is itself inserted into the shaft

Pin – An alternative to a bushing, instead nocks fit over a pin on the end of the shaft.

Pile – The point. Glued into the end of the shaft.

Fletchings – The three feathers / vanes glued to the back end of the shaft.