Amateur

Sporting Vernacular
Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Open Championship has always had a place in its heart for amateur golfers, with MikkoIlonen, of Finland, doing best this year although he failed to make the half-way cut by one shot. They do it all for the love of the game - as the word itselfsuggests.

The Open Championship has always had a place in its heart for amateur golfers, with MikkoIlonen, of Finland, doing best this year although he failed to make the half-way cut by one shot. They do it all for the love of the game - as the word itselfsuggests.

The word's first meaning was a lover of some activity or thing, borrowed from the Old French amateur, which was derived from the Latin amatorem, meaning lover, from amare, to love. In 1786, for example, European Magazine recorded that "Dr Perceval writes on philosophical matters as an amateur rather than as a master", while in 1803 a Mrs Atkinson declared in Tartar Steppes: "I am no amateur of these melons."

The sporting sense was quick to follow - in 1882, Boy's Ownobserved (presumably about cricket), "Our amateurs areimproving, and the intervalbetween them and the profess-ionals is growing beautifully less."

Comments