Glossary of Archery Terms

This archery glossary is still very much a work in progress.
Please feel free to send additions or corrections to Secretary

Arm-guard Protective arm covering for bow-arm. Usually plastic, metal or leather.
Bare shaft An arrow without fletchings.
Barebow A bow with no sight or aiming devices.
Berger Button See Button.
Bouncer (Bounce-out) An arrow that strikes the target and then falls to the ground.
Boss See Butt.
Bow-scale Device used to measure the draw-weight of a bow
Bow-square Device used to measure bracing height and nocking-point position.
Bowyer One who makes bows.
Brace Height Distance between string and pivot–point of the bow (or pressure button).
Bracer See Arm-guard.
Broadhead Arrow point used in hunting. V-shaped with two or more cutting edges.
Butt Backstop behind target face, usually straw or foam.
Button Spring-loaded button. Used to absorb some of the sideways force of the arrow after release.
Cam Eccentric pulley found on compound bows.
Chest-guard Protective clothing used to prevent string catching on clothes or body.
Clicker Metal or plastic device. Produces audible click when arrow is at full draw.
Clout Archery competition where archers shoot at a peg in the ground.
Creep Non-recoverable elongation unlike stretch which is basically elasticity or recoverable elongation
Crest Coloured markings on the arrow shaft.
Compound Bow Bow with eccentric pulleys and cables allowing high bow weights, but low weight at full-draw.
Cushion Plunger See Button.
Draw Pulling the bowstring.
Draw length The distance between the string and the pivot point at full draw.
Draw-weight Weight held by archer at full draw.
End A specified number of arrows (usually 3, 4 or 6) shot between scoring.
Face Target – usually made from paper or card.
Field Archery Archery shot in wooded course.
Fishtailing Movement of arrow from side to side during flight.
Fistmele Archaic term referring to the Bracing height of the bow (which was often measured by using a fist with the thumb extended)
FITA Federation Internationale de Tir a L’Arc. International target archery federation.
Flemish twist The traditional longbow string with the loops made in the same manner as a rope, by twisting and splicing, rather than being a continuous strand of string material with the loops formed by serving. Can be used with recurves, but not recommended.
Fletching The feathers or coloured plastic “wings” attached towards the rear of an arrow.
Fletching Jig Device used to hold arrow and fletchings to ensure consistent positioning while the glue is drying.
Flight Shooting Archery shooting for maximum distance.
Flu-flu Large spiral fletching designed to slow arrow down quickly.
Foot marker Device pushed into ground to ensure consistent foot position.
F.O.C. Front of centre – the balance point of the arrow when the point is fitted.
Gap shooting Using the distance between the arrow and the target as an elevation gauge.
Gold Centre of the target (it is often coloured yellow).
Gold shyness / Gold fever See Target Panic.
Group Several arrows shot close together.
Kisser Button Small plastic device attached to the string for alignment with mouth at full draw.
Grip Where hand is placed on riser. Often plastic or wooden.
Lady Paramount The lady in charge of an archery tournament. An honorary position only.
Limb The energy-storing portion of the bow above and below the riser.
Longbow Single-piece bow. Traditional archery.
Loop Portion of the string that is strung around the limb tip.
Loose The action of releasing the string.
Minnowing High-speed movement of arrow from side to side during flight. (Indicative of poor clearance)
Nib See Point.
Nock Plastic device at the end of an arrow in which the string is placed.
Nocking Point Position on the string at which the nock is located.
Overdraw Device used to permit archers to use arrows shorter than their normal draw length.
Paradox (archer’s paradox) The way the arrow bends around the riser on release.
Peak draw-weight Maximum weight held by archer whilst drawing the bow.
Pile See Point.
Pivot-point Position on grip farthest from the string.
Point The pointed metal device inserted at the tip of the arrow.
Porpoising Movement of arrow up and down during flight.
Pressure Button See Button.
Puller Rubber mat used to protect hands and provide grip when pulling arrows.
Recurve Bow Bow with limbs that curve away from the archer.
Quiver Pouch, usually worn around the waist or placed on the ground, used to hold arrows and other accessories.
Release See Loose.
Rest A wire or plastic device on which the arrow sits before and during the draw.
Riser The handle of the bow.
Serving Protective wrapping of string material around string to prevent wear.
Shaft The body of an arrow.
Sight Window See Window.
Sling Device to attach bow to archer’s bow-hand.
Spine The stiffness of the arrow shaft.
Stabiliser Rod and weight combination attached to the bow to eliminate unwanted torque and vibration.
Stacking Rapid increase in the draw weight of the bow, not in direct relation to the draw length.
String Walking Used by bare bow archers. Fingers moved up and down string according to target distance.
Stringer Device used to bend the limbs of a bow to allow the string to be attached.
Tab Protector for string-fingers to prevent chafing.
Target Panic Affliction where archer cannot hold the sight in the gold.
Toxophilite Archer.
Tiller A measure of the balance of the two limbs.
Tuning Adjustment of the bow and arrow to provide most accurate and forgiving arrow flight.
TFC Torque Flight Compensator. Device used to absorb vibration.
Vane See fletching.
Windage Horizontal adjustment of a sight to compensate for wind-drift.
Window Recessed area of riser above the grip.