Do Pickles And Pickleball Have Anything To Do With One Another?

If cucumbers don't tickle your fancy, you might feel differently if you pickle them into, yes, pickles. Having become a staple snack throughout the world, dating back to nearly 4,000 years ago (via The History Channel), pickles were originally made to allow cucumbers and other vegetables and meats to last longer than the traditional shelf life (or pyramid and cave life, since shelves weren't really a thing back then).

Today, the average American eats nine whole pounds of pickles a year (via CNN). And hey, no one judges you for that. We've all been there — standing in front of the fridge's glow at 2 a.m., no pants on, reaching into the pickle jar for one, two, or five pickles in the middle of the night.

What about pickleball, though? With pickleball courts appearing in almost every new housing development across the United States, does it have anything to do with one of our favorite snacks?

Pickles didn't lead to pickleball

Anyone up for a game of pickleball with a side of pickles as a snack? Just kidding. Believe it or not, pickleball and pickles actually don't really have anything in common. So where did it get its name from you might ask? It seems like there are a couple of mythical stories surrounding how its name originated. According to The Takeout, one story states that it was named after one of the inventor's dogs — amply named Pickles — who "would chase the ball and run away with it." Another famed tale says that since Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum invented the game from improvised sports equipment — ping pong paddles and a whiffle ball — it references the "pickle" boat in crew that is full of all the leftover and rejected oarsmen, often coming in last place (via Pickleball Experts).

Don't let this stop you though from having a pickle-themed game of pickleball! There's plenty of pickle-inspired terms that are part of the game, including the live in-bounds "dillball," shouting "pickle" when the ball is about to be in play, getting "pickled" or losing with zero points on the board, or becoming a "pickler" and getting completely obsessed with the game (via Pickleball Portal). We also won't say no to a pickle beer or pickle cocktail on the sidelines, either.