Glossary – Updated for the 3rd Edition March 2020

Aiming – Method of directing an arrow toward its intended mark.

Aiming – Method of directing an arrow toward its intended mark.

AMO – Archery Manufacturers’ Organization. Governing body setting standards for the archery industry. Name recently changed to ATA (Archery Trade Association).

Anchor – 1. (noun) Place on the archer’s face where his drawing hand contacts and locks in at full draw. A “reference point” is also where part of the drawing hand touches the archer’s face, but does not lock in as the anchor does. 2. (verb) To reach full-draw and lock the hand into a defined position on the face.

Aperture – Literally a “hole”. Type of sight where the archer centers his target in a circular opening.

Archer’s Paradox – The bending of an arrow around the riser, due to its offset from center shot and the string roll around the finger tips as it’s being fired.

Arc – The path of an arrow in flight, technically a “parabolic arc”.

Archer – Someone skilled in the use of a bow and arrow. Note the word “skilled”.

Archery – The skill of shooting a bow and arrow.

Arm-guard – Leather or plastic shield used to protect the forearm of the bow arm from occasional string slaps.

Arrow – Projectile to be launched from a bow.

Arrow rest – Device added to the bow above the shelf to support the arrow during the draw, at anchor, and during the first few inches of flight.

Arrow shelf – Flat or radiused part of the riser, perpendicular to the long axis of the riser. May be covered with leather or similar material to act as an arrow rest.

Arrowhead – The pointy end of the arrow. The part of the arrow that defines its purpose.

ATA – See “AMO”.

B-50 – Dacron bowstring material made by Brownell. B-500 is the same material, but made by BCY.

Back (of bow) – Part of the bow that faces away from the archer.

Backstop – Area or material behind the target capable of stopping errant arrows.

Back Tension – Term describing the force maintained against the bow and bow string by the deep back muscles while at anchor and after the shot.

Ballooning – Separation of the strands of a bowstring during the shot. Usually an indication of insufficient twists and/or wax.

Barebow – Shooting a bow without sighting devices attached.

Belly (of bow) – Part of the bow that faces the archer, also called the “face” of the bow.

Blank bale shooting – Shooting at a target butt with no target face. Used for form training.

Blunt Point – Arrowhead usually made from rubber or metal used to dispatch small game by impact or “shock”.

Bow – Device, which when braced by a string, has the capability to launch an arrow. Bowman – See “Archer”.

Bow quiver – Device attached to the bow to hold arrows for easy access in hunting situations.

Bow Sight – Device added to a bow, used to aim an arrow. It is calibrated to make the archer’s line of sight coincide with the device at the arrow’s point of impact.

Bow Square – “T” shaped tool used to measure brace heights and tiller.

Bowstring, Endless Loop – String made from one continuous strand of material and bound together by serving material. See Chapter 11.

Bowstring, Flemish Splice – String made from individual strands of material and bound together by braiding or “splicing” the ends together. See Chapter 11.

Bowyer – One who makes bows.

Brace height – The distance from the deepest part of a strung bow’s grip to a point perpendicular on the string.

Braced (bow) – Strung (bow).

Bracer – Old English term for an arm-guard.

Broadhead – Specific type of arrowhead, with two or more sharp edges, used for hunting.

Broomstick grip – Very narrow bow grip designed to reduce the possibility of bow hand torque.

Bullseye – Center circle of a target; the highest scoring area.

Butt(s) – Target material that arrows are shot into. Bales of hay, for example.

Cap Dip – Method of painting the shaftment of an arrow by dipping it into a tube filled with paint.

Cast – Distance and speed with which a bow can propel an arrow.

Center shot – Bow with its sight window cut at the centerline. A center shot position of the arrow means that a strung bow, when viewed from the rear (face side) and held so the string appears to bisect the upper limb, will also bisect the arrow.

Central – Anatomical term meaning closer to the center of a body or object.

Chest protector – Material, usually vinyl, worn over the bow side of the chest to prevent interference with, or injury from, the bowstring. More common in Olympic style shooting.

Cock Feather – Odd colored feather, typically set perpendicular to the long axis of a stickbow. Also called the “Index Feather”.

Collapse – Forward flinch of the drawing shoulder, just prior to releasing the bowstring.

Compound bow – A bow with eccentric pulleys or cams, at one or both limb tips, which increase the limb’s mechanical advantage.

Creep – 1. (adjective) The technical term for the permanent elongation of a material. 2. (noun) The guy your sister is dating.

Creeping – Forward movement of the drawing hand/fingers or shoulder while holding at full-draw, effectively shortening the draw prior to release.

Crest/Cresting – 1. (noun) Bands of paint at the leading edge of the shaftment for arrow decoration or identification. 2. (verb) Applying the crest to an arrow.

Deep hook – Placing the hand on the string so the string is seated in the crease of the first joint from the fingertip.

Deflex – Positioning of the distal ends of the riser or proximal ends of the limbs toward the shooter.

Distal – Anatomical term meaning farther away from the center of a body or object.

DOPE – Data on Previous Experience. Method of recording events for future reference.

Draw length – Distance measured from the deepest part of the nock’s groove to a point 1.75” forward of the deepest part of the bow’s grip, when the archer is at full draw. For all practical purposes, it can be measured to the back of the arrow shelf.

Draw length (True) – A relatively new term meaning the distance from the nock groove to the deepest part of the bow’s grip, without the extra 1.75”.

Draw, straight – Drawing the bow string to anchor from a preset bow arm in a straight line.

Draw, rotational – Drawing the bow string to anchor from a preset bow arm, along an arc in the vertical or horizontal plane.

Draw weight – Weight, in pounds, required to pull the bowstring back to the archer’s anchor point. Typically measured at 28”.

Elevation – 1. Sight adjustment to compensate for a high or low point of impact. 2. Amount the bow needs to be raised or lowered to hit a given mark.

End – Number of arrows shot at one time, prior to retrieval. The word originated in medieval England, when archery targets were set at opposing “ends” of a field, at times several hundred yards apart. Due to the distance, archers would shoot their arrows, then move to other end of the field, retrieve their arrows and shoot back towards their original position.

Endless Loop string – See Bowstring, Endless.

Face (of bow) – See “Belly (of bow)”.

Face Walking – Aiming method where the archer places the tip of his arrow on the target’s center and changes his anchor point to adjust for different distances.

Fast Flight – Bowstring or bowstring material made of Spectra. Very lightweight and stretch resistant. Fast flight may also be considered a generic term for any lightweight and stretch resistant string material.

Field point – Arrow head with a shoulder beyond the primary point, to hinder penetration into wood or similar objects.

Fistmele – See Brace height.

Fish-tailing – Visible horizontal fluctuations in an arrow’s flight.

FITA – Federation Internationale de Tir a L’Arc (aka: International Archery Federation). Governing body of international target archery. Name was changed to WA (World Archery) in 2011, due to political correctness.

FITA round – One of several types of matches sanctioned by FITA (WA). Typically an outdoor round, consisting of 144 arrows, initially 36 were shot in six ends of six arrows each at 90, 70, 50, and 30 meters. Later, 72 arrows were shot at 70 meters, and 36 at 50 and 30.

FITA bow – see Olympic bow.

Flemish Splice string – See Bowstring, Flemish Splice.

Fletcher – One who makes arrows.

Fletching – 1. (noun) The feathers or vanes on the rear of an arrow used to stabilize it in flight. 2. (verb) Applying fletch to an arrow (shaft).

Fletching, Helical – Feathers or vanes applied so the quill follows the curvature of the shaft.

Fletching, Offset – Feathers or vanes applied so the quill is at a slight angle to the long axis of the shaft.

Fletching, Straight – Feathers or vanes applied so the quill is in line with the long axis of the shaft.

FOC – see Front of Center.

Follow-through – What happens after the string is released.

Footed shaft – Wood arrow with a second piece of wood spliced to it at the leading end.

Form – Posture and position for a given activity, in this case, practicing archery.

Freestyle – Shooting style using sights. See Barebow, Unlimited Freestyle.

Fixed crawl – Type of string walking using only one set distance from arrow to fingers.

Front of Center – The ratio of the balance point measured from the front of an arrow to its overall length.

G-nock – Small nock used on a target arrow that fits directly into the shaft or into a nock bushing.

Game – 1. In target archery, a subdivision of a match. For example, an indoor NFAA match is comprised of 3 “games”, each consisting of 4 ends of 5 arrows. 2. Any legally hunted animal.

Gap – Aiming method where the archer places the tip of the arrow a specified distance away from the point he wishes to hit.

Glove, Shooting – Skeleton-type glove with finger stalls for the index, middle and ring fingers of the drawing hand, and straps that attach to a wristband.

Grain – Unit of weight equaling 1/7000 of a pound. 437.5 grains equals 1 ounce.

Group – Relative placement or clustering of arrows in a target.

H-nock – Slightly larger version of a G-nock.

Hen Feathers – Two feathers of the same color, typically set 60 degrees from the bowstring.

IBO – International Bowhunters Organization. Group similar to the AMO, dealing primarily with bowhunting issues.

Index Feather – See “Cock Feather”.

Instinctive shooting – Aiming method where the archer focuses on the point he wishes to hit and allows his subconscious to interpret various data inputs to direct his arrow towards that point.

Insert – Metal or plastic bushing into which an arrowhead or nock is screwed or pushed.

Judo Point – Arrowhead with small wire arms perpendicular to the arrow, designed to prevent the arrow from burying itself under brush and getting lost.

Kentucky Windage – Aiming the bow sight off center to compensate for the wind.

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid; a basic principle, germane to archery.

Kisser button – A small disk attached to the string that the archer places between his lips as a reference point to his anchor.

Lamination – The practice of gluing several similar or dissimilar materials together to increase the strength, performance or esthetics of a bow or arrow.

Lamentation – Sound made by an archer in response to making a poor shot.

Limb – The working part of a bow.

Longbow – Bow which when braced contacts the string only at the string nocks.

Loose – See “Release”.

Match – An archery competition.

Matt – See “Butt”.

Modulus (of elasticity) – Elastic force of a substance or material. Defined as the ratio of stress (force) to the distortion the material experiences when the aforementioned force is applied. The higher the modulus, the more stress the material can withstand before it fails.

NAA – National Archery Association

NIBB – New Improved Balanced Bullet. A type of bullet-shaped target arrowhead specifically made for each size aluminum, carbon or aluminum/carbon composite shaft to yield a FOC of 7% to 9%.

Nock – Any groove in an arrow or bow that engages the string. Arrow nocks are typically separate plastic pieces glued or pressed into the tail end of the arrow.

Nocking point – Physical device on the bowstring that provides consistent arrow placement.

Nockset – A plastic lined metal ring, crimped onto the string as a nocking point.

No-Gluv – Rubber sleeves slid over the center serving of a bowstring, creating a nocking point and eliminating the need for a tab or glove.

Ogive – A pointed, curved surface used to form the approximately streamlined nose of a projectile.

Olympic Bow – Recurve bow designed and configured for Olympic style competition. Usually used synonymously with FITA bow, although the actual configurations may be slightly different.

Over-bowed – (Using a bow that is) too heavy for a given archer to handle correctly.

Parabolic Fletching – Feathers or vanes with a rounded trailing edge.

Peep Sight – Small aperture attached to the string, used in some types of target shooting.

Peeking – Any movement after the release associated with the shooter trying to see the arrow in flight, usually adversely affecting the shot.

Perfect – Highest possible score on a given end, game or match.

Pile – See “Arrowhead”.

Piles – Hemorrhoids. (Possible symptom of being over-bowed.)

Pin nocks – Type of arrow nock used on some high-end target arrows.

Pivot Point – The deepest area of a bow’s grip.

Pluck (Plucking the string) – An outward movement of the hand (away from the face) on release.

Point Of Aim – Aiming method where the archer places the tip of the arrow on a set point other than the point he wishes to hit. Once that point is established, the archer will not focus on the target at all.

Point-on Distance – That distance where the arrowhead overlays the center of the bullseye while aiming.

Porpoising – Visible vertical fluctuations in an arrow’s flight.

Possible – See “Perfect”.

Power stroke – The distance for which the arrow is in contact with and propelled by the string.

Proximal – Anatomical term meaning closer to the center of a body or object.

Quiver – Device for holding arrows in a position accessible to the archer during a shooting session.

Range – Indoor or outdoor area for shooting. Also may mean distance from the shooter to the target.

Recurve – Bow, which when braced, has the string making contact at the string nocks and along the first several inches of the distal limb ends.

Reference Point – Point on face or neck to act as an additional locator for the anchor position.

Reflex – Positioning of the distal ends of the riser or proximal ends of the limbs away from the shooter.

Reflex – Physical reaction not involving higher brain centers.

Release – Letting go of the string, hopefully after an anchor has been reached.

Release Aid – Hand- or wrist-held triggering device to release the string.

Release, Dead – Release method where the drawing hand remains in the same position both before and after the shot.

Release, Pull-through – Also called a “Dynamic Release”. Release method where the drawing hand snaps rearward after the shot.

Riser – Center part of the bow to which the limbs are attached.

Round – See “Match”.

Robin Hood – (noun) Character in English folklore, dating from 1000 to 1400 AD, (depending on the version of the legend), known for his archery skill and benevolence. For most of us, Errol Flynn.

Robinhood – (verb, one word) Splitting a wooden arrow lengthwise with another arrow. With aluminum or carbon, the second arrow flutes the first. By definition, the first arrow must be in the bullseye!

Self bow – A bow made from a single material or single piece of material.

Self nock – Arrow nock created by cutting a groove in the end of a wooden arrow, typically perpendicular to the grain.

Serving – Material wound around the bowstring either to bind the strands together or protect them.

Shaft – Tube or dowel destined to become an arrow. Also slang for arrow.

Shaftment – The last 8 to 10 or 12 inches of an arrow, towards the nock end.

Shield-cut Fletching – Feathers or vanes with a flat (nearly perpendicular to the arrow) trailing edge. Thought to resemble an elongated medieval knight’s shield, divided in half lengthwise.

Shock – The forward motion of the bow limbs being abruptly stopped by the bowstring.

Sight – See “Bow Sight”.

Sight Extension (bar) – Device used to move the sight away from the shooter’s eye.

Sight, Olympic or FITA type – Target style bow sight with precision elevation and windage adjustments.

Sight, hunting – Bow sight with multiple pins or apertures that can be set for several distances. Typically, more compact than target-style sights.

Sight Radius – The distance from the shooter’s eye to the sighting device.

Sight Window – Part of the riser above the arrow shelf, cut out to bring the arrow closer to center-shot and give the archer a better view of his target.

Skirt, Target – Non-scoring area of a target face.

Snap shooting – Releasing the bowstring either before anchor or before a solid anchor is achieved.

Spine, Dynamic – Amount of actual flexing an arrow undergoes during a shot.

Spine indexing – Determining the stiffest or weakest radial aspect of an arrow shaft and orienting the arrow nock to match.

Spine, Static – Measurement of an arrow’s stiffness.

Spent Arrow – Arrow that has lost all the energy imparted by the bow.

Split Finger – Placement of the arrow between the index and middle fingers, in preparation for a shot (see Three Under). Also called a Mediterranean string grip.

Stance – Position of the feet in relation to the target face.

Stave – Wood billet destined to become a bow, typically a self-bow.

Stabilizer – Any weight added to a bow to increase its inertia or enhance its balance.

Stack/Stacking – Dramatic increase in draw weight past a certain draw length. If a bow normally gains 2 – 3# per inch of draw, when it begins increasing more than that, the bow is said to be “stacking”.

Steering, arrow – Adjusting the aim of an arrow during or immediately after the release.

Stress – When a limb is drawn to a point where it no longer responds as expected to changing tuning parameters. The stack and stress points may or may not be the same on a given bow.

Stickbow – A bow with a single string attached to the end of each limb, not using pulleys or cams to increase performance.

String blur – Alignment of the string with part of the riser or sight to confirm head alignment.

String follow – Property of a self bow where the limbs do not return to their original position when unstrung after a shooting session.

String Keeper – Leather or plastic device used to hold a bowstring in place while the bow is unstrung.

String Walking – Aiming method where the archer places the tip of the arrow on the target’s center and moves his drawing fingers down the string to adjust for different distances.

Stretch – Technical term for the recoverable elongation of a material. A non-recoverable elongation would be called a creep. In archery jargon, however, any elongation, recoverable or not is usually called a stretch.

Tab – Leather or plastic plate, covering and protecting the fingers of the drawing hand.

Take-down (bow) – Bow that comes apart in two or three pieces for easy transport, or for changing limb length or weight.

Target – Arrow receptacle. See “Matt” and “Butt”.

Target Face – Paper or cardboard, typically with concentric circles, used for aiming and scoring.

Target Panic – Inability to execute a controlled shot. Typical symptoms include the inability to anchor (short-drawing), hold at anchor (snap-shooting), release before being on target, or the inability to release the string.

T/D – See “Take-down”.

Three Under – Placement of the arrow above the three shooting fingers, in preparation for a shot (see Split Finger).

Tiller – 1. Relative strength of the upper to lower limb, or the relative reflex or deflex of the limbs to each other. 2. With regard to self bows, the relative bending of a limb from fadeout to tip.

Tip Protector – Plastic or rubber cup placed on a limb tip to protect it from being marred if left in an upright position (while strung).

Torque – Twisting action by the archer on the bow or string, generally with detrimental results.

Traditional Archery – Very broad term originating in the 1980s used to distinguish stickbows from compound bows.

Trigger – 1. See “Release Aid”. 2. Psychological stimulus having a positive or negative effect on an athlete’s performance. 3. Roy Roger’s horse. You’re probably wondering why Roy Roger’s horse is included in a book on Archery. In addition to carrying Roy Rogers, Trigger also carried Maid Marion (Olivia DeHaviland) in The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn (Warner Bros 1938).

Tuning – Various methods of modifying certain parameters of the bow and/or arrows for optimal efficiency.

Under-bowed – (Using a bow that is) too light for a given task.

UNI-bushing – (Universal Nock Insert) Insert that accepts UNI-bushing type push-in nocks.

Unlimited Freestyle – Shooting style that allows sights and release aids. (The release aid was initially the distinguishing factor between Freestyle and Unlimited Freestyle.)

Vane – Plastic fletching.

WA – World Archery, see FITA.

Warf – 1. (noun) A takedown bow comprised of an old style compound riser machined to accept ILF limbs. 2. (verb) Machining limb pockets of certain older style compound risers to accept ILF limbs.

Watch the Arrow Exercise – Form exercise where the shooter focuses on the tip of the arrow or face of the bow and not the target.

Windage – 1. Sight adjustment to compensate for a left or right point of impact. 2. Amount the bow needs to be held to the right or left to hit a given mark.

X-nock – Arrow nock used on some carbon arrows that fits into a nock bushing. Similar in size to an H-nock.

Zeroing – Calibrating a bow sight so that the sighting device coincides with the desired point of impact.