toxology (täks-älə-jē)

Happy National Archery Day!

I’ve been on my school’s Varsity Archery team for two years now and find the sport highly challenging, yet relaxing. Our team qualified for the State tournament this year for the first time in school history! Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, the competition was cancelled.

The Greek word for bow is toxon. The ancient Greeks often shot poison arrows at enemy troops. When Rome conquered Greece, the Romans adopted toxon into Latin. However, the meaning of the word changed – in Latin, toxon came to mean poison.

Very rarely, the Greek definition of toxon appears in English. So far, I’ve only encountered two words that have retained the meaning – toxophilite and toxology. You can read my post about the word toxophilite here.

Toxology is the study of archery and projectiles. The word comes from the Greek word toxon meaning bow and -logy meaning study of. Toxology is commonly confused with the word toxicology, which uses the Latin meaning and refers to the study of poisons. In fact, many familiar words in English use the Latin meaning of toxon.

toxophilite (täk säfə līt)

I love the cool new bow I got for my birthday!

Yesterday was my first official day of summer vacation! I went to the archery range with my dad and we shot arrows together; it was fun! I am a true toxophilite. What is a toxophilite, you ask? A toxophilite is a lover of archery. Toxophilite is made up of two Greek roots, tox, meaning bow and phil, meaning love of. Two Greek elements usually link with “o.” Are you a toxophilite? If you are, let me know.