Welcome to the Web’s first page of quotations about the sport of badminton.
To play at Shuttle-cock, methinks, is the game now. ~“The Two Maids of Mortlake,” c. 1609
May the birdies always land at your feet. ~Badminton saying
Lawn-tennis and badminton, to speak of more elaborate games, deserve also the highest praise on the score of health, and it is to be hoped that they will enjoy a long-lived popularity. ~George Black, “Exercise in Relation to Health: Gymnastic Exercises,” Household Medicine: A Guide to Good Health, Long Life, and the Proper Treatment of All Diseases and Accidents, c. 1882
He sent the shuttle-cock spinning into the air, “catch that, if you can!” But Emily did catch it, while Father Stirling, on his side, let it fall. But notwithstanding this mishap, he really was a good player, and they kept the little shuttle-cock in a constant whirl, Emily springing from side to side like a fawn, till poor Father Stirling, who was not quite so agile, began to grow very warm and red. ~May Ramsay, Marion Howard; or, Trials and Triumphs, 1871 [a little altered
Birdies of a feather play badminton together. ~Author unknown
I like a good big hall, don’t you? I figured to get it big enough to play a game of badminton in. May be that’s unnecessarily large, but that’s better than being all cramped up, you know. ~H. C. Bunner, c. 1895
This is a very delightful game, and becomes more and more interesting as the players become expert. The battle-door is a kind of bat with parchment stretched over it like a drum-head. The shuttle-cock is a little ball, stuck full of feathers, which are arranged in such a way as to make the shuttle-cock always fall to the ground with the ball downwards… Each girl holds a battle-door in her hand, with which she strikes the shuttle-cock towards her companion, taking care to send it well up into the air. The other player should watch the shuttle-cock during its flight, and the moment it comes within reach, give it a vigorous blow and send it back again. In this way good players go on sometimes for half-an-hour at a time without letting the shuttle-cock fall once to the ground. ~Riddles and Rhymes, 1893
Get smashed. ~Badminton joke
It’s all just different mediums of comedy. You know, there’s sketch, improv, writing, acting, music, and badminton. Those are the seven forms of comedy. ~T. J. Miller, “Because T. J. Miller is a Funny Functioning Drunk,” A Frank Conversation with Amos Barshad, GQ.com, 2011
Have you got the birds to play badminton? ~Sporting joke
The use of the shuttle-cock is an excellent mode of exercise… The shuttle-cock was a fashionable pastime among grown persons in the reign of James I, and it is a most desirable circumstance that it should again become fashionable, especially among young ladies. With the advantage of its being a social diversion, it most agreeably exercises the whole human frame, by the various attitudes the players are perpetually putting themselves in; of course, it creates a graceful pliancy in the joints and muscles, accelerates the circulation of the blood, and propels to the cutaneous pores, all the fluids prepared by nature to pass off by this easy and salutary way; it also promotes the digestive powers… ~Thomas John Graham, Sure Methods of Improving Health, and Prolonging Life; or, A Treatise on the Art of Living Long and Comfortably, by Regulating the Diet and Regimen, 1827
Battledore and shuttle-cock’s a werry good game, when you an’t the shuttle-cock and two lawyers the battledores, in vhich case it gets too excitin’ to be pleasant. ~Charles Dickens, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, 1837
You should always count aloud the number of times you strike the shuttle-cock, and you will be surprised to find how interesting the game begins to grow as your number mounts up, and how very anxious you become at last for fear the shuttle-cock should fall. Try as much as you can not to become excited about the game, because the moment you do so you become nervous, and may sometimes miss a blow that you would not have missed had you been cool. ~Riddles and Rhymes, 1893
One thing you never hear is “Man that guy is good at badminton.” ~Demetri Martin, Facebook post, 2012 [Hey, maybe not in the USA, but you sure would in some other parts of the world!
Man is nothing more than a shuttle-cock of fate, walloped around the circle of his own livid existence by the decree of adversity. ~W. T. McAtee, 1916 [Context note: He was actually writing against that theory. Man as the “shuttlecock of fate” is an earlier concept, from at least the early 1800s.
Long-continued practice is necessary to make any one a first-rate player at Battle-door and Shuttle-cock. As this game is an extremely noisy one, it ought never to be played near any one who is sick or happens to be subject to headaches. Like many other games, it is more agreeable when played in the open air. ~Riddles and Rhymes, 1893
I’m usually pretty lame when it comes to physical activity, but I’m like a Jedi on the badminton court. It’s as if my body was built specifically for it — tall and lanky, with wrists like mousetraps. ~Matthew Gray Gubler [Cindy who submitted this thinks it’s from an old Teen Vogue interview but wasn’t certain. Anyone know source details?
His Highness playing at shuttle-cock with one far taller than himself, and hitting him by chance with the shuttle-cock upon the forehead — “this is,” quoth he, “the encounter of David with Goliath.” ~Prince Henry, of his father, James the First
Eight female badminton players were expelled from the Olympics for trying to lose on purpose. So, tragically, they’ll never have another chance to play badminton unless they get invited to a picnic. ~Conan O’Brien, 2012
Badminton is for the birds. ~Badminton joke
Abuse is often of service: there is nothing so dangerous to an author as silence; his name, like a shuttlecock, must be beat backward and forward, or it falls to the ground. ~Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), as quoted in The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., with an Essay on His Life and Genius by Arthur Murphy, 1840
It is advantageous to an author, that his book should be attacked as well as praised. Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck only at one end of the room, it will soon fall to the ground. To keep it up, it must be struck at both ends. ~Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), quoted by James Boswell, in The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 1785
Too much can hardly be said in favor of a revival of this English game. If played rightly it is not only an exciting game, simple as it seems, but it is of great value from the point of physical training. One has but to play it to be convinced of its exercising value. Add to that the grace and freedom of movement acquired, if only the rules for position are observed, together with the intense interest aroused when the players become sufficiently skillful to keep in the air two shuttlecocks, and we have a game not too old for the children nor yet too young for the parents. ~“Battledore and Shuttle-Cock,” Ladies’ Home Calisthenics: A Guide to Health for Women and Children, 1890
If it’s not televised, there’s no way Americans will know about competitive badminton. All they know is the back-yard thing. ~Howard Bach, “Q&A with Olympic badminton hopeful Howard Bach,” an interview with Roxanna Scott, USATODAY.com, 2008, asked “Why isn’t badminton popular in the U.S.?”
Home would not be home to me without a lawn… Consider the many special delights a lawn affords: soft mattress for a creeping baby; worm hatchery for a robin; croquet or badminton court; baseball diamond; restful green perspectives leading the eye to a background of flower beds, shrubs, or hedge; green shadows — ‘This lawn, a carpet all alive / With shadows flung from leaves’ — as changing and as spellbinding as the waves of the sea, whether flecked with sunlight under trees of light foliage, like elm and locust, or deep, dark, solid shade, moving slowly as the tide, under maple and oak. This carpet! What pleasanter surface on which to walk, sit, lie, or even to read Tennyson? ~Katharine S. White (1892–1977), “For the Recreation & Delight of the Inhabitants,” Onward and Upward in the Garden, 1962
Original post date: 2008 Jul 26
1st major revision: 2015 Nov 18
Last saved: 2020 Feb 16