Is a sport an athlete or an entertainer?

Author: Anne Dwyer

As Villanova college students, we associate the word “sport” with our phenomenal basketball team, or the other athletic activities on campus. If we are not considering it as an activity, we use the word to describe a small child. Grandparents will casually address their athletic grandchild by saying “ hello sport”. Today, most people tend to associate the word with athletics and only athletics. Love Labour’s Lost was written in the fifteen-hundreds so therefore the word “sport” had a completely different meaning.

Back then, “sport” was defined as a matter or incident providing entertainment, diversion, or amusement; a joke, a jest (OED). In other words, it was used to describe someone who provided amusement for other
people. Today, we call athletic activities sports; and, many people would say athletic activities provide others with entertainment. Therefore, the usage of “sport” from long ago and the usage of it today are closely related, but not the same. In modern time, people do not call others “sport” because they are amusing. They call them “sport” because they are a young athletic individual.

In Love Labour’s Lost, they refer to Costard as their “sport”. Throughout the entire play, Costard is known for his wittiness. He has the ability to please others whether they are a King or a peasant. The word “sport” is a fitting description for him and his ability to amuse the King and his men.