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November 4, 2018

Word of the Day: Gridiron

1 CQ

Word of the Day : November 4, 2018

gridiron \GRID-eye-ern\ noun


1 : a grate for broiling food

2 : something consisting of or covered with a network

3 : a football field

Did You Know?

Modern gridirons are covered in football players when they're in use, but the original gridirons were more likely to be covered with meat or fish; they were metal gratings used for broiling food over an open fire. In Middle English, such a grating was called a gredil, a root that gave modern English both gridiron and griddle. How did gridiron become associated with football? That happened in the late 1800s, when a white grid pattern was added to football fields to help enforce new rules about how many yards a team had to gain to keep possession of the ball. From high up in the stands, the lines made the playing fields look like cooking gridirons.

Aired November 4, 2018

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