Where does the word “battledore” come from and What does battledore mean?

A battledore was originally a paddle-shaped wooden bat used by women as a mangle, or “beetle,” for linens, back in the fifteenth century.

There is no certainty as to the origin of the name, but it might then have been a play upon words, battle instead of beetle, and because beetle was also the name for a hard-sheathed insect for which another name was dor or dore, the two might have been combined humorously into battledore.

Our ancestors enjoyed their jokes, too. The name also denoted a paddle for removing loaves from an oven or for propelling a canoe.

where does the word battledore come from and what does battledore mean

And, when the game of rackets, subsequently called “battledore and shuttlecock,” reached England in the sixteenth century, the name was applied to the racket, because of its shape.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.