How Did Tennis Get its Name, Where Did the Game Come From, and What Does Tennis Mean in French?

In the eleventh century, French monks started playing a game by batting a crude handball around the monastery.

It was a kind of handball with a rope strung across a courtyard.

The game progressed and became popular with royalty before catching on in England in the thirteenth century.

When returning a ball over the net, the French players shouted, “Tenez,” which, roughly translated, means, “Take that!”

The English did the same, only “tenez” became “tennis.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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