Rugby fans are only just realising where the terms 'ruck, maul and scrum' came from - Ruck

Rugby fans are only just realising where the terms ‘ruck, maul and scrum’ came from

If you aren’t a sports fan, the language of sport might seem inescapable.

Either the ball’s in your court and you’ve got into the full swing, or else you’re about to throw in the towel and have to hope you’ll be saved by the bell. Sports jargon and idioms permeate the way we use English.

Professor Simon Horobin, of the Faculty of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, reveals that the language of sport comes to us from a huge variety of sources.

One of the games he centred his research on was rugby union., which has many unique terms involved in the game.

Where did it come from?

He revealed: “The rugby terms “ruck”, “maul” and “scrum” come to us, respectively, from a Scandinavian word for “haystack”, a Latin word for “hammer”, and as a modified version of the military term “skirmish”.

Social reaction:

He wrote: “For some reason I thought it was just a midfield f***,”

Another added: “I had never thought about this. Cool fact.”

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“Early flight home” – Wales boss Warren Gatland handed ‘impossible’ Rugby World Cup draw

The 2023 tournament will take place between 8 September and 21 October 2023.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The draw is a key milestone on the journey to Rugby World Cup France 2023, and the time when the tournament truly comes to life for teams and players alike.

“It enables key operational elements to be undertaken such as venue allocation, optimal match schedule development and the ticketing programme.”




  1. New Zealand
  2. France
  3. Italy
  4. Uruguay
  5. Namibia


  • Sep 8: France vs New Zealand (Pool A) – Stade de France, Saint-Denis
  • Sep 9: Italy vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne
  • Sep 14: France vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
  • Sep 15: New Zealand vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
  • Sep 20: Italy vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade de Nice, Nice
  • Sep 21: France vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Velodrome, Marseille
  • Sep 27: Uruguay vs Namibia (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Sep 29: New Zealand vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 5: New Zealand vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 6: France vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
France team to play Wales
Antoine Dupont of France calls for the mark during the Six Nations Championship match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 13 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK