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Archery Terminology



Please note these bow & arrow terms are mostly for traditional bows. Archery terms for compound bows and accessories is coming.

  • Aim — The concentrated effort to direct an arrow to its target.
  • Anchor Point − The point on the body touched by the string or the drawing (string) hand before releasing the arrow. This point is often a spot on the face, such as the corner of the mouth.
  • Archer — One who shoots with, or is skilled in the use of, a bow and arrow.
  • Archer’s Paradox − The effect generated by flexing of an arrow when it leaves the bow.
  • Armguard — A guard worn on the bow arm to prevent the bowstring from slapping the arm or catching sleeves.
  • Arrow — A straight, slender rod, usually fletched and tipped, shot from a bow.
  • Arrowhead — The striking end of the arrow fastened to the arrow shaft.
  • Arrow Plate — On traditional bows the material placed on or near the arrow shelf to protect the bow or from contacting the arrow during the release.
  • Arrow Nock — The end of the arrow that accepts the bowstring.
  • Arrow Shaft — A rod or tube used to make an arrow.
  • Arrow Shelf — The flat or curved area just above the handle where the arrow rests.  
  • Bow back — The bow surface facing away from the archer when being drawn.
  • Bow fishing − Using archery to catch fish.
  • Bow hunting − Implementing archery in hunting and the practising of hunting.
  • Broadhead − A sharp-bladed hunting head attached to an arrow.
  • Bullseye − The centre of a target, for which hitting scores maximum points.
  • Clout Archery − A discipline in archery to shoot at a flag. The closer arrow scores maximum points.
  • Crest − Marking on an arrow used for design or identification.
  • Crown − The nock end of the arrow where it is coloured.
  • Daikyu − Term used by Japanese for longbow.
  • Drawing − The pulling of the bowstring to an extreme stretch.
  • Dry firing − To release the string without an arrow, causing damage to the bow.
  • End − A round in which arrows are shot.
  • English Longbow − A powerful bow during medieval period.
  • Field tip − Head for practising against the targets.
  • Fistmele − A good distance or the balancing height between the bowstring and bow handle.
  • Flu-flu arrow − A short range arrow that was specially designed for practising.
  • Footed arrow − An arrow along with a shaft of two types of wood.
  • Game − Wild animals hunted for sport or food.
  • Gungdo − A practise followed in Korea for the archery game.
  • Hen feather − Name for shaft feather which was misunderstood for cock feather.
  • Horse archer − An archer sitting on a horse.
  • Index fletching − A coloured fletch for indication of proper alignment of arrows.
  • Judo point − A target and also a small game head designed with springs for a better location.
  • Kisser − Button indicating vertical distance while a bow is drawn.
  • Limb − Lower and upper arms of a bow.
  • Longrod − Rod on the bow attached to sustain vibrations.
  • Mongolian Draw − To draw a bow using the thumb.
  • Nock − To set an arrow to a bow.
  • Overdraw − The situation when the bow is too large for the bow string.
  • Plunger/ Pressure Button − Device for correcting the flex of an arrow during its release.
  • Poisons − Toxics added to arrow heads to enhance the hunting impact.
  • Quarrel − Also known as a bolt, it is a crossbow projection.
  • Recurve bow − A bow, where the unstrung tips curve farther from the archer.
  • Release − To relax the drawing hand fingers to free the arrow.
  • Riser − The section for handling the bow.
  • Safety arrow − Wide tip or padded head arrow, generally used for re-enactment.
  • Self-bow − Bow made of single material.
  • Shaft − The most important of all structural parts in an arrow.
  • Spine − Stiffness in the shaft of an arrow with flex contraction.
  • Stave − Wooden material used in making a bow.
  • Tab − This leather latch is worn for the protection of fingers.
  • Target archery − From different distances, shooting a steady target.
  • Target shooting − A competition of using projectile weapons for testing expertise in archers.
  • Tip − Top end of the bow, differentiated from arrow point.
  • Upshot − The archery contest’s last shot.
  • Vane − The fin of an arrow that stabilises the motion.
  • Wand shoot − Event where players shoot arrows at soft wooden slat of 6’ tall and 2’’ wide.
  • Yumi − A Japanese bow, mostly asymmetric, and consists of both short and long types.