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Now here are three serious explanations for the origins of term FORE!

1) Because Golf balls were pricey, golfers employed 'Forecaddies' to stand where the ball might land and reduce the number of lost balls, as is done in tournaments today. In 1875, Robert Clark mentions that Andrew Dickson performing this role for the Duke of York in 1681 and describes it as "what is now commonly called a fore-caddie". It is probable that golfers called to their "Forecaddie!", who would always be some distance ahead to draw attention to the fact the ball was coming and, in time, this was shortened to "Fore!" The nearly contemporaneous appearance of the terms caddie, fore-caddie and fore! chains this theory over the others.

2) A following explanation derives from the military battle craft of musket days, when rank after rank would fire fusillades, some over the heads of those in front. It was speculated that the term Fore! might have been used to warn those in front to keep their heads down. Modern historians pour cold water on this theory, partly because it is hard to relate it to a Scottish golf connection and partly because the relevant military terms used do not appear to be connected. But, this theory may in fact be a misunderstanding of the theory below.

3) Here is a third explanation, which appears utterly implausible, but which is an outside possibility. It derives from a report told by John Knox (1505?-1572) the 'hellfire' protestant reformer. He tells the tale, as only 'hellfire' preachers can, of someone arriving at the East Port (east gate) of Leith. This report was noticed by Dr Neilson and subsequently reported by Robert Browning in his book 'History of Golf' (1955) thus:

'One among many comes to the East Port of Leith, where lay two fantastic pieces of ordnance, and where their enemies were known to be, and cried to his fellows that were at the gate making defence: "Ware Before!" and so fires one fantastic piece, and thereafter the other.'

So "Fore!" could be derived from an artillery term warning gunners to stand clear. This last explanation means, at the outset, that the term "Ware Before!" ("Beware Before!") was foreshortened to "Fore!" (rather than "Ware!") and, secondly, it must have been sufficiently well known to be used by golfers.

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2012-01-29 22:41:07
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Q: What does the word FORE in golf mean?
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The word fore in golf mean?

Look out

Why say four in golf?

It is 'fore' not 'four' - meaning afore - watch out afore.

How did people get hit by golf balls?

People get hit by golf ball because they don't pay attention to their surroundings on the golf course. And the person that hit them didn't yell "FORE!" (:

Why do they yell fore when you play golf?

heads upYelling fore in a game of golf is like saying heads up. "Fore" is another word for "ahead" as in a ship's fore and aft.The British Golf Museum also surmises that the term evolved from "forecaddie."A forecaddie is a person who accompanies a group around the golf course, often going forward to be in a position to pinpoint the locations of the groups' shots. If a member of the group hit an errant shot, the thinking goes, they may have alerted the forecaddie by yelling out the term. It was eventually shorted to just "fore."A popular theory is that the term has a military origin. In warfare of the 17th and 18th century (a time period when golf was really taking hold in Britain), infantry advanced in formation while artillery batteries fired from behind, over their heads. An artilleryman about to fire would yell "beware before," alerting nearby infantrymen to drop to the ground to avoid the shells screaming overhead. So when golfers misfired and send their missiles - golf balls - screaming off target, "beware before" became shortened to "fore."

Why do golfers yell fore?

It's another way of saying "watch out" According to the site Fore" is another word for "ahead" (think of a ship's fore and aft). Yelling "fore" is simply a shorter way to yell "watch out ahead" (or "watch out before"). It allows golfers to be forewarned, in other words.

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