December 23, 2006

Cutter - an interesting term

Several petanque players in the US use the term cutter, for your team's boule that - while not holding the point - will likely prevent the leading team from piling up more points. As in damage control.
"We need a cutter!" or "This is our cutter".
I like the term, it says exactly what it means, and I don't recall ever hearing anything equivalent in other languages.
Perhaps it comes from another sport. A friend suggested that it may be a sailing term, as in cutting the wind from your competitor.
Does anyone know more about it, and is it used in e.g. the UK or New Zealand as well?

3 comments:

Jeppy said...

Cutter. I like the term too. I usually call it, "Being defensive" but "cutter" has a nice sound to it - like carreau.

Gary said...

Though I use the term and hear it used all the time, I don't know where it originated. A guess would be that it may have just evolved from questions like, "Which of the other team's balls cuts our team out of multiple points?" or statements like, "I'll concede that you have one point, but this ball of ours cuts you out of any more."

It's so much easier to say, "Where's the cutter?" Though it may not translate to "cutter," are there no words in other languages to convey the same meaning? That's what I would find unusual.

mf said...

You say "cutter", we say "cop". In NYC, anyway.