Golf, gentlemen only, ladies forbidden, history and intrigue of the origin of the name. Where did the word for the game originate from, and is it overly sexist in nature? Some have argued that the name for golf originated from being an acronym of gentlemen only ladies forbidden. Is this the truth or just a way that modern society tried to explain the name? In short, it’s a myth, and we will explain.
Golf is without a doubt perhaps the world’s most popular bat and ball game. It’s a game for everyone to enjoy, from the young to the young at heart. Most of us, like myself, play the game, but not well, while others have nothing but skill, and can forge successful careers playing the game. In fact, some players can become incredibly wealthy, doing nothing more than chasing a little white ball around what would otherwise be a fantastic shooting range. But the game hasn’t always been for everyone. To tell you the truth, until fairly recently, if you weren’t a white male you would have had difficulty playing the game. This history is part of where the myth of golf, gentlemen only ladies forbidden originated from.
The theory that the word golf originated as an acronym of Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden is false. Golf as a word first appeared in text in 1457, despite the game being played much earlier. At that period in time acronyms were not in use, and the game was actually spelled in many different ways. Some of the ways that golf was spelled include goif, gof and gowf. Clearly these words don’t prescribe to the acronym at all of golf, gentlemen only, ladies forbidden. But it shouldn’t surprise us one little bit. In the nearly six hundred years since the word first appeared in print, languages have evolved immensely. Words, their meanings and spellings have changed so much that a common person would have great difficulty understanding the English language of six hundred years ago. The original meaning of the game, the origin of its name, is now lost to the ages.
We’ve included a rather comical video for all the golf lovers below. Hope you enjoy.
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