In the 19th century, a game similar to tennis was played in India. It was called poona. Poona was brought to England by English soldiers stationed in India.
Then in 1873, the English Duke of Beaufort held a party at Badminton, his country estate, where a slightly different form of this game was played for the first time. Since the first matches of the new game were played at Badminton, the new game became known as “the game at Badminton,” and later as “badminton.”
In earlier times, the shuttlecock, the lightweight object that badminton players hit back and forth with their rackets, was made of goose feathers.
Today, badminton shuttles, or birds, are almost always made of plastic or rubber. But they’re still so light that no one has ever been able to drive one more than 80 feet!