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"Ball" Rolls into the English Language
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Scholars report that the Chronicle of Britain  contained the words "Summe heo driuen balles wide . . ." which they see as "the first known use of the word ball in the sense of a globular body that is played with." The source? Old Norse, by way of Middle English. [Old High German had used ballo and pallo, but the English didn't use "ball" in those days.] The source does not say whether people in England used some other term for their rolling playthings prior to 1205.
Source: Wikipedia entry on "ball," accessed 5/31/2006.
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