Tennis 101

Racket or Racquet: What’s The Difference?

Timo GD

If you’ve ever seen someone typing the word “racket” you might have thought “wait a minute, it’s racquet!”. Who is right?

The words “racket” and “racquet” both refer to the same piece of equipment used in the game of tennis, but they can also have different connotations in other contexts. The word “racket” can refer to a loud or disturbing noise, or a fraudulent scheme or enterprise. “Racquet” however is only used in the context of sports like tennis. If you want to be 100% correct all the time just use “racket”.

What Does The Dictionary Say?

Let’s take a look at the good old dictionary and see what it has to say about racket vs racquet:

 

Definition for Racket [ rækɪt ] [ rak-it ]

  • a loud noise or clamor, especially of a disturbing or confusing kind;
  • social excitement
  • an organized illegal activity

 

Definition for Racquet [ rækɪt ] [ rak-it ]

  • variant of “Racket” only used when talking about sports.

 

What is the Difference Between Racket and Racquet?

 

When to Use Racket

The word “racket” fits every time no matter what topic you are speaking about.

 

When to Use Racquet

“Racquet” however is only correctly used when talking about sports.

 

What appears more often in Google Trends?

“Tennis Racket” vs. “Tennis Racquet” Search Interest over the last 5 Years:

In the civilized, educated world it’s “racquet”. In the colonies where the uneducated savages and barbarians live, its “racket”.

– Zoolander, TT-Member

What Do Tennis Racket Companies Use?

Based on the Google Trends data shown in the diagram above, one can observe the level of interest in a specific topic or keyword over a period of time. This is represented by the number of people conducting searches on Google for said topic or keyword.

As indicated by the chart, the search term ‘tennis racket’ has received more than twice the amount of interest compared to “tennis racquet” over the past five years. Hence, it is evident that ‘racket’ is the more commonly used term among the general populace.

It is noteworthy that this trend holds true for any English-speaking country, and not just North America. Even countries like the UK and Australia exhibit a preference for ‘tennis rackets’ over ‘tennis racquets’, which is surprising to me but hey, data doesn’t lie.

Where Does the Word Racquet Come From?

The Origin of Racquet

The word “racquet” is believed to have originated in France in the 14th century. The French word “raquette” was used to describe the palm of the hand, and it eventually came to be used to describe an object that was held in the hand.

In the context of tennis, the word “racquet” is believed to have come into use in the 19th century, as the game began to gain popularity in England. The term was likely introduced to differentiate between the more traditional, wooden tennis racket and the newer, more modern rackets that were being developed at the time.

Today, both “racket” and “racquet” are used interchangeably to describe the same piece of equipment used in the game of tennis.

 

The Origin of Racket

The word “racket” originated in the 16th century and was initially used to describe a weapon used in medieval warfare. The weapon was made of a wooden frame with a string mesh, similar to the modern-day tennis racket.

Later on, the term “racket” began to be used to describe a variety of different objects with a similar structure, such as snowshoes or bird traps. In the 19th century, the term “racket” became associated with the sport of tennis when a specialized racket was designed for the game.

 

Where is Racquet More Commonly Used?

The word “racquet” basically has 0% usage outside the world of sports and tennis in particular. “Racket” on the other hand is used in any imaginable context and therefore used way more often than “racquet”.

TL;DR

“Racket” and “racquet” basically mean the same if you use it in the context of tennis. If not “racket” is the safe way to write it.

 

 

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