Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Margaret asked about the word rink, as in roller rink or ice rink. The original rink (15th c.) was a space for jousting. It became a course for riding or running on. Then it became the bout, encounter, or race itself.

Eventually, it became a team in curling or in bowling. From there, it was an easy step to a portion of ice measured off and set aside for play. It was also the measured-off portion of a bowling green.

Now it has become a sheet of ice used for skating and for ice sports, and that lead once upon a time to the phrase rink rat, an ice-skating fanatic. The word rink has a connection to rank, a line of soldiers or people engaged in jousting.

SIDEBAR: Traverse City Roller Derby

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Check out Mike's program-based books here:
Arbutus Press
or at

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now.

There is a collection of podcasts. Go to and click on Podcasts. Scroll down The Ron Jolly Show to find the Words to the Wise audio button.

Visit The Senior Corner at



Post a Comment

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints