What Does the Term “Stymied” Mean and How Did the Word Originate?

Stymied comes from the Scottish word styme, which means “unable to see,” and its usage came from golf.

A stymie was when a player’s golf ball landed on the green directly between his opponent’s ball and the hole, forcing the stymied player to either spin his ball around the other or hop over it with an iron.

In 1951, a new rule allowed a golfer to mark the position and remove the obstructing ball for a putt.

We often say we’ve been “stymied” when we are facing a difficult situation.

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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