Rolling, Dancing, Racing, and Sliding

Thursday, January 12, 2023

“A bad day on the slopes beats a good day at work,” is a popular quote by ski aficionados. It’s also a great way to introduce vocabulary for large open spaces. 

The English language has different, specific names for various open spaces, whereas many languages use the same one word. For example, in Italian and Spanish it’s pista; in French it’s piste; in German it’s bahn. 

The best way I know how to distinguish the many open spaces we have for skiing, dancing, racing, flying airplanes, etc. is by memorizing them. Luckily there aren’t too many:

  • Racetrack; track (sports) = the course for any race (horse, car, bike)
  • Ice rink = an enclosed area of ice for skating, ice hockey, or curling
  • Roller rink = a smooth enclosed floor for roller skating
  • Runway = 1) a leveled strip of smooth ground along which aircraft take off and land; 2) a raised aisle extending into the audience from a stage, especially as used for fashion shows
  • Dance floor = an area of floor in a nightclub, disco, or restaurant that is reserved for dancing.
  • Ski slope = a part of the side of a hill or mountain, especially as a place for skiing
  • Trail = a mark, track, course, or path 
  • Bike path; bike lane = a path or road for bicycles and not motor vehicles.

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