jai alai

jai alai

[hahy lahy, hahy uh-lahy, hahy uh-lahy]
a game resembling handball, played on a three-walled court between two, four, or six players who are equipped with a long, curved wicker basket, or cesta, strapped to the wrist for catching and throwing a small, hard ball against the front wall.
Compare cancha, fronton.

1905–10; < Spanish < Basque, equivalent to jai game + alai merry

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World English Dictionary
jai alai (ˈhaɪ ˈlaɪ, ˈhaɪ əˌlaɪ, ˌhaɪ əˈlaɪ)
a version of pelota played by two or four players
[via Spanish from Basque, from jai game, festival + alai merry]

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Word Origin & History

jai alai
1910, from Basque, from jai "celebration" + alai "merry."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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