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89 Archery Terms Everyone Should Know | Archer’s Glossary

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Tim Rhodes

The philosopher Confucius once said, “In archery, we have something just like the way of the superior man, when the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his defeat in himself.”

In the archaic time, people used arrows and bows to secure the need for their food.

Today in this modern age, archery is a passionate and challenging sport for those who love thrills and have the patience to achieve their destination.

So, If you are a person who loves archery and want to know about it, then you are in the right place because in this article you will be able to find the ‘must-know terms’ of this incredible sport.

The terminology of a game is very important to learn the fundamental concept.

Still, it’s often quite new and sometimes out of context or a little complicated to understand at first.

Whether you’re an admirer, novice, or passionate archer, there is a lot of archery terminology out there that sometimes you might feel like a newcomer or are listening to a foreign language.

Table of Contents

89 Archery Terms Everyone Should Know

In this writing, you will find a handy reference for archery equipment, arrows, bows, tuning, form, acronyms, etc.

We will discuss more than 50 terms here, so hold your breath and let’s explore the world of archery.


1. Anchor Point

A definite point or place, usually on the archer’s mouth, chin, or nose, should be touched when the bow is fully drawn and prepared to shoot.

It’s also known as a ‘reference point,’ which benefits an archer’s efforts to give consistency.

2. Archer’s Paradox

It’s also known as the paradox, which is an impact produced by an arrow flexing as it’s about to leave the bow and as it clears the bow on release by bending the riser.

It’s especially used by those who are finger shooters and uses aluminum arrows.

3. Arm Guard

A protective strip or device is usually made of leather worn on the part of the bow holding arm to safeguard the forearm from the bowstring snap.


4. Back Tension

The back tension refers to the back muscles’ active engagement to hold a bow at full draw while you aim and release during the shot process.

It’s also known as tension, and it’s one of the critical methods for a perfect shot in the archery world.

5. Bare Shaft Testing

For the best flight, this involves shooting an arrow without fletching to see the nocking point’s adjustment and the rest position of an arrow.

6. Button

Adjustable equipment with a spring-loaded contact for the arrow.

It sits on a rest that is mounted vertically to the arrow.

Also known as’berger button’,’cushion plunger’,’pressure button’,or’plunger’.


7. Clout Archery

This is an archery practice where an archer shoots arrows toward a flag, known as clout.

The shooting distance varies from 120 to 180 yards.

Judges base the score on how close the arrows land from the clout.

8. Compound Bow

This is a more accurate modern bow made of cables and pulleys that store more power using its materials.

When you draw a 20-pound weight arrow from a compound bow, you actually fire a 60-pound strong arrow.

9. Cushion Pressure Point

This device is made of plastic or leather that absorbs the shocks generated by the arrow when released.


10. Dominant Eye

In archery, an archer tends to prefer one eye over another, and the dominant eye determines his shooting style.

For example, those who prefer the left eye should shoot left-handed.

11. Draw

The act of pulling the bowstring into the shooting position attached to the bow is known as a draw.

Also, when the string is pulled back, the length it’s pulled is a draw.

12. Dutch plug

It is also known as the ‘Dutchman’ or ‘plug,’ which is cylindrical shaped tiny wood used to repair a dead knot in a bow.


13. Elevation

A bow needs a specific amount of raising and lowering to hit a given mark, which is its elevation.

The sight adjustment to equalize for a high or low point of impact is also elevation

14. End

A round of rarely more than six arrows shot during an archery event to the target to score and retrieve them.

15. Equilibrium Moisture Content

The moisture quantity of wood once reached an equilibrium state dictated by its surrounding environmental circumstance, is cited by this term.


16. Flight

Flight pertains to your arrow’s state as it is propelled through the air by kinetic forces after you successfully fire it from your drawn bow.

17. Flinch

It pertains to the bow or releases arm’s moving, usually caused by the anxiety of the clicker or anticipation of hitting the bow arm with the string before or just at the release.

It can also pertain to the movement of the bow or release arm at the release moment.

18. Flu Flu

Flu-flus are trimmed, enormous feathers that are spiraled around the shafts used to make short-range arrows.


19. G-nock

Smaller than an H-nock is used on a target arrow that fits into a nock bushing.

20. Game

Game pertains to an evenly distributed set of ends in a session, or Non-domesticated animals hunted for food or sport.

21. Gold Fever

A psychological term is used when the archer suffocates under pressure.

In that case, he loses his aim and becomes incapable of releasing the arrow, which is also known as ‘target paralysis’ or ‘buck fever.’


22. H-nock

A slightly larger nock than G-nock is used on a target arrow that fits into a nook bushing.

23. Helical Fletching

Helical fletching is applied with a helical clamp in a fletching jig, allowing an arrow to spiral in flight to stabilize the flight much faster, especially in high wind situations.

24. Hit

In the context of archery games or tournaments, this pertains to successful target hitting shots that score.

In a general context, this pertains to your arrow impacting any intended target.

25. Home

An arrow at the stage when it’s all set to be shot and completely drawn.


26. Illegal Draw

When a judge declares a contest draw against the rule such as drawing a bow while indicating above the target.

27. Insert

A threaded aluminum unit’s placed into the front part of an arrow deeming field points and broadheads to be screwed into it.

28. Instinctive Shooting

A traditional shooting method where an archer looks at the target and shoots, he doesn’t use any mechanical device or the point of aim theory to hit the target.


29. Jerking

Allowing the archer’s shooting hand to flinch backward too much as the arrow is released.

30. Jig

The tool utilized for fletching arrows and making bowstrings.

31. Judo Point

A spring wired small-game arrowhead and a target equipped for easy setting.


32. Kevlar

The light synthetic, strong material used to make the bowstrings that have no stretch, and that bowstring simulate more shock to the limb.

Some bows can’t utilize kevlar and that’s why the lifespan of kevlar cracks due to repeated bending.

33. Kinetic Energy

A physics term referring to the method that the energy is transmitted to the arrow through the bow, which results in a more humane shot when there is more kinetic energy.

34. Kisser

A kisser is also known as a ‘kisser button’ which is a plastic made indicator set in the bowstring, and it touches the lips or teeth while the archer is at full draw.

35. Knot

A name was given to some of the wood where there was the addition of a branch from the trunk of the tree.

In Yew wood, these knots can catch up with the outer surface or be tangled within the wood.

Knots are often tagged as ‘live’ where they’re actually sound wood, or ‘dead’, where the wood has damaged and is usually restored with a plug of a great wood.


36. Laminating

A thin layer of substance to generate strength in risers and high performance in limbs, bonded together to form a bow limb or riser.

37. Launcher

A spring-loaded or drop-away arrow rest, where the arrow rests on top of a prong extension just under and in layer with the arrow.

38. Limb

An adjustable working part of a bow from the handle or riser outward, that bends when the string is drawn.

it’s the upper or lower parts of a bow where the energy of a bow is stored and is also called the ‘arm’.


39. Mass Weight

Usually used in reference to the actual weight of the bow if placed on a scale.

Also can be used to know the mass of any gear.

40. Mediterranean Draw

A special method of drawing the arrow is favored mainly by Western archers where there is a use of the first three fingers to draw the bow.

The method is to put the index finger above the arrow, with the other two below

41. Minnowing

During the act of wobbling of an arrow flight, often resulted in by inappropriate spine, improper bow tuning, poor shooting hand form, or misaligned rocks; if its movements are less drastic but much faster is known as a minnow unless it’s fishtailing.


42. Nock

The notch or groove at either end of the bow that keeps the bowstring into position or the act of fitting an arrow into the bowstring.

43. Nock Travel

After being released a description of where the nocking point on the bowstring moves up or down.

This can happen if the arms/cams of the bow move at different speeds when drawing or stop moving at different times.

An extreme level of nock travel can make it difficult to aim correctly.

44. Nocking Point

The specific place where the nock of the arrow is to be placed on a bowstring while proceeding to drawing and shooting.


45. Olympic Bow

A specially configured and designed recurve bow for Olympic Style Competition.

46. Overdraw

A very risky and tricky practice of pulling the bowstring further back than optimum at full draw, so that the tip of the arrow passes the belly of the bow.

47. Over Strung

When the string of the bow is too short for its action, the condition is then called overstrung.


48. Paper Tuning

A bow tuning system of shooting arrows by bow through a sheet of paper.

Archers do tuning using the pattern made by the arrows in paper sheets to adjust the nocking point or pressure button settings.

49. Parabolic Fletching

A parabolic design where the feather fletching with a higher, rounded shape at the back end of the feather toward the nock of the arrow.

50. Point of Aim

Normally the point of the target always consists of a line in it, which can enable the archer to hit his target if placed with the tip of the arrow and his eye beat a line.

For brief distances, the “point-of-aim” is going to be ahead of the target; for long distances, it’ll be above the target.

Between the 2 may be a “point-blank range,” where the “point-of-aim” and therefore the target is an equivalent point.

Also, the thing that’s placed on the bottom when using the point-of-aim strategy.


51. Quill

A ground flat shaft of a feather to fit on an arrow.

52. Quiver

A plastic or leather-made case that an archer carries holds their arrow.

Also known as ‘back quiver’, ‘hip quiver’, ‘pocket quiver’.


53. Range Finder

A modern appliance by which using an archer can locate his point-of-aim instantly without experimenting.

54. Recurve Bow

Known as reflexed bow’ whose limbs curve away from the face side of the bow when unstrung.

It provides the bow extra spring and strength.

55. Reflex-deflex

a method of bow limbs combining deflex, where the origins of the limbs curve inward toward the archer near the riser, while with reflex, the rest of the curves of the limbs away from or outward from the archer.

This sort of limb is made fashionable by bowyers and credited with promoting stability during a bow.


56. Saddle

While the pouch is positioned on the lower limb, an end of a bow stringer that fits over the upper limb of the bow is known as the saddle.

57. Shaft

Excluding the head, nock, and fletching, the middle part of an arrow is stated as a shaft and sometimes this term is used to indicate the arrow itself.

58. Shooting Glove

For the protection of the drawing fingers, a three-fingered, leather made skeletonized glove is used which straps around the wrist to protect the fingers and is used for the protection of the drawing fingers.

59. Snake

When an arrow is drawn and after finishing its fly, the way an arrow plants itself under the surface.

60. String

A helping cord that is three to four inches shorter than the bow used to shoot.

The string is referred to as the bowstring or cord which is also used to mean the proper positioning of an arrow.


61. T-form

When an archer’s body, bow arm, and draw arm make a shooting form where his whole body resembles a ‘T’ shape.

62. Tear

To assemble the string more hastily, a device is used at the edge of a compound bow cable.

63. Tent Line

Also known as the ‘equipment line’ that is 10 yards behind from the shooting line where the archers can leave their equipment and may set up their tents and chairs.


64. Unit Aiming

When an archer adjusts the aiming from the waist, they have to follow the unit aiming which refers to the maintenance of the relationship of the arms, head, and shoulders.

65. Unlimited

With fifteen inches or longer stabilizer bars and a trigger, an archer shoots a type of shooting game called as unlimited.

66. Upwind

The direct blow of wind from the target towards the archer.


67. V-bar

To make a bow eligible to take a long road, short road, or other stabilizers, a coupling is normally attached to the bow that is known as a v-bar.

68. Valley

The amount someone can move the string away before the draw gets heavy again from the compound bow and towards the riser.

69. Velocity

A physics term is measured basically by calculating the speed at which an arrow can travel and expressed in feet per second.


70. Wobble

The unusual movement of an arrow during flight.

71. Worst White

When an archer hits the outermost scoring of the target with his arrow, that is the one who is nearest to entirely missing the target, that archer is awarded the worst white.

72. Wrist Sling

When a strap attaches to or encircles the bow and upholds over the bow wrist and/or hands that protect the bow from falling after the string is released.

It’s known as ‘finger sling’ that’s used if the archer shoots with a relaxed bow hand.


73. X-nock

An H-nock sized arrow nock is used on some carbon arrows that fit into a nock bushing.


74. Yarn Tassel

To clean the wet or soiled arrows, some archers wear a collection of yarn on their quiver or belt.

75. Yoke

At the axle pin of a compound bow, a Y-shaped control cable that attaches to the outside of the upper limb is called a yoke.

76. Yoke Tuning

Adjusting each side of the yoke in order to achieve a linear trajectory of the bowstring as it comes off the idler wheel at full draw in order to tune a compound bow.


77. Zeroing

To measure the power of a bow sight so that the sighting equipment can provide the desired point of impact.

List of Abbreviations

78. ATA

It’s an archery organization ‘The Archery Trade Association’ which is formerly known as The Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization (AMO).

79. ASA

An archery organization named, ‘Archery Shooters Association’.

The ASA was established in 1993 in Kennesaw, Georgia.

80. ESAR

The Eye Sight Arrow Relationship is a term where the eye should be perpendicularly above the arrow nock.

81. FOC

The Front-of-Center is a term that means the percentage of the arrow’s total weight, which is located in the front half of the arrow.

82. FPS

The Feet Per Second is normally used to describe the bow speed ratings.

83. GPP

Grain Per Pound is a measurement system used to select the weight of the arrow.

84. IBO

IBO stands for the International Bowhunters Organization, also a speed measurement system in archery.

It was founded by some dedicated archers in 1984.

85. ILF

The International Limb Fitting is a universal limb making system that was designed in the late 1980s.

86. NFAA

The National Field Archery Association was established in 1939 in the USA, which is one of the oldest institutions of modern archery.

87. TFC

The Torque Flight Compensator is a modern device to stabilize the movement of an arrow when it’s drawn.


The United States of America Archery Association is the USA’s national archery regulating institution which formed in 1879.

Today we know it as the USA Archery, the headquarters of USAAA is in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

89. WA

WA stands for the World Archery which is an Olympic approved committee or governing body for the archery related issue.

Final Thoughts

There is a saying that when someone nocks his arrow, he unlocks his soul.

In the modern ages, we don’t need bows and arrows to fulfill our basic needs.

But it’s obvious that deep down in our hearts, we always feel the necessity to close to nature as an unrestricted soul, be ourselves, and have a day off from the machined life.

Archery helps us get rid of our agony and arrogance, and helps us be patient, focused, and gives us a lesson about our life’s goal.

Archery terms are very basic to this amazing sport’s journey, and we are happy to share this path by letting you know the interesting terms of this sport.

I hope you enjoyed this, and if you learn a little bit, that’s a pleasure for us to share with you.

If you have any other queries or like this article, please let us know in the comments below.

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