Have you ever read The Hunger Games or seen the movie of the same name? If so, you’re familiar with archery. That’s the sport of hunting or shooting at targets using a bow and arrows.

When you shoot at an archery target, your goal is to hit the very center of the target. It’s a very small area and very hard to hit. That’s why it’s so challenging. If you do manage to hit it, you’ll likely cry out, “Bullseye!” Have you ever WONDERed why the center of a target is called a bullseye?

A bullseye — sometimes spelled bull’s eye — is the center of a target, such as those used in archery. Other targets, like those used in the game of darts or other types of shooting practice, also have hard-to-hit spots in their centers that are also called bullseyes.

The origin of the term bullseye is a bit uncertain. Some believe it dates back hundreds of years to when English archers would gather together after church services in small villages. To practice their skills and see who the most accurate shooter was, they would use the white skull of a bull as a target. Of course, the person with the greatest skill was the one who could shoot an arrow through the empty bull’s eye socket.

Others note, though, that the term bullseye has been used in many different circumstances over the years, many of which have nothing to do with targets or archery. One early use had to do with a blemish in the center of a glass window pane.

Perhaps it was this relationship to the center of something that led to its being used to refer to the center of a target. Some scholars believe that bullseye was used to describe anything small and circular since the 17th century.

Today, bullseye might be heard in many different contexts unrelated to archery or shooting at targets. It’s often used generically to refer to reaching a goal or getting something exactly right. For example, successfully solving a difficult math problem might elicit a satisfied “Bullseye!” Likewise, scientists who discover a new cure for a disease might shout “Bullseye!” upon making their discovery.

104 Join the Discussion

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  1. Thoughts: I thought the video was funny because the camera guy hit the arrow with his camera. (Luis and Shalize) The guys who went to go shoot the bow and arrow reminded me of Ryan Seacrest from American Idol. (Briahna)

    Connections: This reminds me of when I went to Flat Rock camp and I used a bow to shoot an arrow. (Andrew) This reminds me of when I went hunting with my dad and I shot a bunny. (Jaaron) This reminds me of when I was camping with my uncles and shot a bird with a bow and arrow. (Pedro)

    Predictions: Why do you find Dalmations at fire stations? (Cristian) Who let the dogs out? (James) Do all dogs only see black and white? (Joaquin) Can you teach an old dog new tricks? (Michelle) Can a dog be a man’s/woman’s best friend? (Lupe)

    • Thanks so much for visiting us this morning, Mrs. Hess’ Class! We appreciate your thoughts about the video today, Luis, Shalize, and Briahna!

      It sounds like Andrew, Jaaron, and Pedro are experienced with a bow and arrow! You must have been practicing!

      We are so excited about your awesome predictions, Cristian, James, Joaquin, Michelle, and Lupe! We think you’re on the right path when it comes to puppies! Thanks for sharing your awesome comments, Wonder Friends! :)

  2. We thought it was really neat that they used a bull’s head for target shooting! We think bullseye is a great name for being successful.

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about bones, treats, pet stores, or a dog pound.

    • We’re glad we could all learn about the origin of the bullseye, Ms. Bayko’s Class! We Wonder if any of our Wonder Friends in class have “hit the bullseye”? This could include solving a difficult problem, making a winning shot in a team sport, or answering a tough question correctly! We bet there are lots of times you’ve hit the bullseye!

      Thanks for telling us all about your awesome Wonder guesses– we think you’re on (woof) the right (woof) path! :)

    • We’re glad you liked today’s Wonder, Merle! It really hit the mark! We bet you’re not the only one who has hit another object, like your dad’s car, by accident! We’re glad no one was hurt! Thanks for making us smile today, Merle! See you soon! :)

  3. Hi and good morning wonderopolis.
    Today I really liked the video and I think archery is really cool. I also really like apples and the movie The Hunger Games.

    From : Ashton

    • It sounds like today’s Wonder was right up your alley, Ashton! Or should we say, today’s Wonder hit the bullseye for you?! :)

      We Wonder if you have tried archery, just like Katniss in The Hunger Games? We hope you’ll give it a shot someday! :)

  4. Dear Wonderopolis,

    I thought today’s wonder of the day was very interesting. I have seen the Hunger Games and I have played a bit of archery at summer camp with my best friend Lexi and it was very hard. I think tomorrrow’s wonder of the day will be about dogs, dog tricks or dog walkers. :)

    • Karsen, how cool that you have tried your hand at archery! That’s awesome! We think a lot of Wonder Friends can relate to today’s Wonder thanks to The Hunger Games books and movie! We bet you and Lexi had a great time learning how to get a bullseye! We can’t wait to find out what doggy Wonder waits for us tomorrow! :)

  5. I thought today’s wonder was interesting.
    In the summer my friend and I went to camp and we did archery there and it was really fun and cool. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about dogs, dog tricks, treats, pet stores or hotdogs. :)

    • It sounds like you and your friend had an awesome time at camp, Alexa! We Wonder if that friend was Karsen?! We can imagine all the cool activities you participated in- what fun! Thanks for sharing your cool comment and great guesses with us! We can’t wait to see you tomorrow! :)

  6. Dear Wonderopolis

    I loved the video and that guy had a pretty good shot for a first timer. I’ve shot a bow before and I did not do good. I would never hit a bullseye it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to me.

    • We’re glad this Wonder made you smile, Jakob! Shooting a bow and arrow is tough– it takes lots of practice! We think it’s cool that you have even tried it yourself! If you really love archery, we bet you’d spend a great amount of time practicing your aim and precision! Perhaps with time and practice, you could hit the bullseye! :)

  7. ———————————————
    HI!
    I really liked today’s wonder. I have a bow and arrows I am not very good at shooting it.
    I usually miss the target. I like bow and arrows. I think tomorrow’s wonder is going to be about dog treats and dog food. :)
    ———————————————

    • WOOHOO, we’re glad you’re back today, Brady! We bet you would could become better at archery with some practice, Brady! It takes a lot of time to become great at that sport! We are glad you’re trying– that’s the most important thing!

      Thanks for visiting us and sharing your dog guesses! :)

  8. Hi wonderopolis

    I loved today’s wonder.

    I thought that it was so cool how it originated.

    When I went to England for the summer and because the Olympics were on they were doing a free archery lesson it was so much fun.

    P.S. Do you have a wonder on pen pals because I have one in B.C.

    • Hi, Wonder Friend Eiffie! Thanks for visiting us today, we’re glad you’re back! We are glad you learned about the very first bullseye and where the name comes from! HOW COOL! It sounds like you’ve tried your hand at archery, too! We bet it was a lot of fun! :-)

      Thanks for asking about pen pals– we’ve got a Wonder that is just for you! Maybe you and your pen pal in B.C. can check it out together!

      Wonder #468– Do You Need a Pen to have a Pen Pal? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/do-you-need-a-pen-to-have-a-pen-pal/ :)

  9. Dear wonderopolis,

    I think today’s wonder was really cool! I have never done archery before but I really want to because it sounds so fun and I have seen the Hunger games before. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about pets. :)

    • WOOHOO, we’re so glad this Wonder is making you smile, Maddy! We bet it would be a lot of fun to try archery, too! You will have to practice a LOT to be as awesome as Katniss from The Hunger Games! We bet you can do it!

      Thanks for sharing your furry friend guess! See you tomorrow! :)

  10. I love today’s wonder. I thought it was cool how he shot the apple of his head. A scout is a two fingers salute. I know because it’s for girls too. I’m a cub scout here in Canada. Also I love The Hunger Games. :)

    Alicia

  11. Thank you for the dinosaur wonder. I have seen the movie it is really great and I have shot a bow and arrow it was cool I think tommorrow’s wonder will be about dogs.

    • You’re welcome, Liam! We’re glad you enjoyed WONDERing about the different dinosaur names!

      The Hunger Games series is very popular here at Wonderopolis, we’re glad you connected those books and movie to today’s Wonder! We Wonder if you have ever tried your hand at archery, like Katniss?

      Thanks for sharing your woof-tastic guesses, too! We’ll see you soon! :)

  12. Hi Wonderopolis,
    Today’s wonder was funny. The funny part was
    when the guy said, “Let’s put the apple on the camara man’s head”.
    Thanks Wonderopolis.
    Ben
    :]

    • Hey Ben, thanks for sharing your favorite part of today’s Wonder! The video made us laugh, too! We hope you’ll join us tomorrow to Wonder some more! Have a great Thursday! :)

    • WOW, how cool, Monkey Dude! That’s quite an accomplishment! We’re so glad this Wonder hit the mark for you! Thanks for sharing your comment! :)

    • We couldn’t agree more, Jusin! It was a lot of fun to learn about the origin of the bullseye and archery equipment! Thanks for visiting us today! :)

  13. We loved today’s WONDER! We have been archers for over a year now and shoot several hours a week. It’s a great sport for focus and concentration! Everyone should try it out. We think tomorrow’s WONDER is going to be about working dogs or rescue dogs. (Wonder monkey’s signing off!)

    • WOW, we think it’s super cool that you are both archers, Gwen and Angus! You must be doing a great job and having lots of fun– how cool that you are practicing several hours a week! We look forward to WONDERing with you again tomorrow. We hope our Wonder monkeys have an awesome banana treat after all their WONDERing today! :)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Superman! We are sorry to hear that you’re not feeling as inspired anymore! We would love it if you would share your suggestions for making Wonderopolis an awesome, fun and inspiring place! You can share your comment here or send us an email at hello@wonderopolis.org! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

    • GREAT WORK, Wonder Friend Mystery! You hit the bullseye with today’s Wonder! Have you ever tried your hand at archery? :)

  14. Thoughts: Archery is very interesting and it can give you very good skills for focusing. It makes you focus on a target.

    Connection: (Meghan) I do archery and I can hit the bullseye. (Emilee) My sister does archery and she almost hit me one time. (Alyssa) My grandfather’s parents taught him how to make his own bow and arrow.

    Prediction: (Chris) How do dogs exercise? (Keyara) How fast can a dog run? (Justin) How many puppies can a dog have?

    • We are so glad you’re thinking of the skills you gain through archery, Mrs. Coleman’s class! Meghan, Emilee, Chris, Keyara, and Justin, you did a SUPER job of sharing your thoughts about today’s Wonder! It sounds like archery is in the family for some of you!

      We can’t wait to Wonder with you tomorrow- it’s going to be woof-tastic! :)

    • How cool, Wonder Friend Rori! We are so glad this Wonder hit the mark for you! We hope you’ll come back to Wonder with us tomorrow! :)

    • How cool, Austin! We’re so happy this Wonder made you smile and you learned something new about the meaning of a bullseye! :)

  15. I learned about the arm guard I did not know that you even needed one of them. Yah so thank you for teaching me about the arm guard. And that’s all.

    • Awesome, Joshua! We are happy you learned about the other accessories that are included in archery! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Patience! We’re so glad you’re here! We Wonder what you learned from today’s bullseye Wonder? :)

    • Hey there, Lucien! We are so happy there are so many Wonder Friends from Miss Cornies’ class with us today! We’re so lucky! Thanks for sharing your comment with us! :)

  16. On TV I saw a lot of people practice and played those games bullseye. Plus my cousin use to be a championship of the bullseye thing on 2010! :D

    • WOW, it’s cool that you learned all about archery with us today! What a cool connection to your cousin’s championship! We hope you’re having a great day! :)

  17. Dear Wonderopolis,

    Bullseye! Eight out of eighteen of us have shot at a target.

    Bullseye! The bell just rang!

    Off we go!

    Ms. Uppena’s Third Grade Super Sleuths

    • WOOHOO, we’re so impressed that all of you have tried your hands at archery! We are glad you shared your comment with us right before the bell rang! We’ll see you soon, Super Sleuths! :)

  18. Hi,
    That is so cool. It’s really interesting how the term “bull’s eye” originated. I wish I could do archery. Hope to see more awesome wonders soon.
    Asha-Mae

    • Hooray, we’re so glad Asha-Mae is WONDERing with us! Perhaps you’ll be able to try your hand at archery in the future! We bet you can practice your aim and precision with a game of darts, too! We look forward to WONDERing with you again, too! :)

  19. Hello Wonderopolis,

    I found that very interesting and I will come back many more times. I remember when our grade went to camp and we played archery. It is a great activity. Do you think you hit consecutive bullseye?

    From Josh

    • Hey there, Josh, what a cool memory from camp! We bet it was a lot of fun to learn a new sport! We haven’t hit consecutive bullseyes yet, but we’re going to keep practicing here at Wonderopolis! Have you? :)

  20. Hi Wonderopolis,
    I really enjoyed your video. Now I want to learn how to use a bow and arrow! It looks fun but tricky. I also liked how you were shooting the camera on different angles.
    Thank you
    Bryanna

    • Thanks for pointing out your favorite parts of today’s Wonder, Bryanna! We hope you will try your hand at archery in the future; we think it would be a lot of fun! Hope you’re having a SUPER day, Wonder Friend! :)

  21. Thought: I agree Luis and Shalize in my class, (Mrs. Hess’ Class) and :).

    Connnection(s): This reminds me of when I was little, (about 4 or 5 years old) I practiced a lot of shooting a lot of arrows at home. :)

    Prediction(s): Who let the dogs out? Why do Mickey Mouse Clubhouse have to dance ” HOT DOG “? Why do dogs enter the Iditarod Race? What type of dogs names are there? Who <3 dogs? Who invented dogs? How many dogs died on Earth? How many dog still alive?

    I LOVE YOUR SITE, LOVE YOU GUYS, AND YOU GUYS ROCK AND ROLL! EVEN RULE THE WORLD WIDE!

    • Hey Kathy, thanks for your awesome comment– we are so happy you’re here! It sounds like you have been practicing your archery skills since a young age, Kathy! We look forward to WONDERing with you again, too! You’ve got some stellar guesses and we think you’re on the right woof track! Thanks for being an awesome Wonder Friend! :)

  22. Hi Wonderopolis,

    It’s strange how many different things people think about where “bullseye” came from.

    I think your next wonder should be something about DRAGONS!!!

    • Great point, Emily! We learned about the different meanings of bullseye today, as well as the origin of the word! Very cool!

      Thanks for sharing your very own Wonder about dragons! Some of our Wonder Friends already have their sketch books out to draw their very own version of a dragon! :)

  23. Hi Wonderopolis,

    I’ve shot a bullseye before at a school camp a few years back. It was an activity at the School Camp.

    Archery is fun, I would defintely do it again.

    I wonder what tomorrow’s Wonder is, I hope it’s something about animals, and maybe one time you can do a Wonder about cheetahs, how they run, how can they run so fast, etc.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow, Wonderopolis!

    • Hey Saff, we are so glad this archery Wonder made you smile! We enjoy archery here at Wonderopolis– some of us have even hit the bullseye! We Wonder if you have tried archery before? :)

  24. Hi wonderopolis,
    I love archery so I really
    enjoyed this video. I don’t believe
    he hit a bulls eye from 90 feet! I learned that
    you should really wear an arm guard and the guy was really good. Hitting the apple would be hard.

    • Wearing an arm guard is a great idea, Ed, and we’re so happy that this Wonder is right up your alley! We are very impressed with the people in the Wonder video! They must practice often! Thanks for sharing your comment! We hope you have a super day! :)

    • What an accomplishment, Luca! We’re so happy for you! Thanks for telling us all about your cool bullseye achievement! :)

  25. Dear Wonderopolis,
    We saw a man going to an Olympic ground and see a man that had knowledge about archery.

    We thought the video was great and we enjoyed seeing people using a bow. It would of been hard to shoot the apple, and even the target at a 90 foot distance!

    We learned how to shoot a bow properly and that U.S.A Olympic grounds are 150 acres.

    We enjoyed the video we learned things and we liked watching people using bows. Thank you for the awesome video.

    • WOW, what a cool connection to our archery Wonder, Ralph and Zak! It sounds like that man was seeking advice from an experienced archery professional!

      We are so glad you enjoyed our Wonder video and you learned a new thing or two today! Thank you for visiting us! :)

  26. Hi Wonderpolis It’s great to see that you posted about archery I myself have 2 recursive bows and plenty of arrows I’m saving up for a compound bow I fire using only 2 fingers one on top and one underneath and have sliced my arm open as a result of firing the bow incorrectly I have hit a bulls eye 36 times.
    Have you ever fired a bow?

    • WOW, Richard we are so glad to hear you’re okay! Keep up the great work– it sounds like you are becoming an archery master! We have tried archery here at Wonderopolis and it’s a ton of fun! Some of us are going to practice even more to work on our aim and precision! We’re so happy this Wonder is right up your alley! Thanks for visiting us today! :)

  27. Dear Wonderopolis
    I loved the video now that I have seen the video now I want to do archery I love the part that they shoot the apple and also they were so happy I love their language.

    • We are glad this Wonder inspired you to try your hand at archery, Annie! This Wonder made us smile, too! Thank you for stopping by Wonderopolis to share your comment about hitting the bullseye! :)

  28. Hi Wonderopolis,
    In grade 3 camp we did some archery, it was fun. Do you like doing archery?
    That short clip taught me a bit about archery. I didn’t know you had to wear an arm guard. I can’t believe you you were able to hit the apple. Have you done archery before?
    Is hitting the bulls eye difficult?

    • We sure do enjoy archery, just like you, Jade! We are so glad you were able to try archery in grade 3– what a cool adventure! Hitting the bullseye is certainly a tough thing to accomplish, but with practice, time and patience we bet you can hit the mark! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

  29. Dear Wonderopolis

    I saw 2 men playing with targets, arrows and apples.

    I liked how you hit the apple in the middle.

    I learned that you have to wear arm guards when firing arrows.

    • You did a super job of summarizing what you learned in today’s Wonder, Campbell! We hope you’ll be able to try your hand at archery in the future, too! We are so glad you enjoyed your time at Wonderopolis! :)

  30. HI Wonderopolis,
    I have looked at some of your other blogs, and I find them really interesting! The one I really like the most is the Toadstool one.
    Thanks
    Bryanna

    • Hey there, Bryanna! We’re so glad you’ve been WONDERing with us– thank you for visiting so many of our Wonders! We’re so glad that you’ve found a favorite, too! We are glad you learned all about mushrooms– they’re quite interesting! We look forward to WONDERing with you again, Bryanna! Keep up the great work! :)

  31. He got a bullseye with a bow and I liked how he got a bullseye in the apple on his 4th shot I learned that you have a wrist band.

    • Thanks for sharing what you learned today, Juliette! We are glad this bullseye Wonder made you smile! The man with the bow is very impressive, he sure had a lot of talent! Thanks for visiting us and sharing your comment today! :)

  32. Hey Wonderopolis, your website is the best website. I myself do archery. I am not that good but I can hit a moving target, I am 15 and love everything to do with swords, bows and arrows, etc. Last year I had to make my own makeshift bows and arrows, I did pretty well, so this year I got my own long bow, it’s the best, I wish I could shoot like Legolos or Katnis.

    • We are oh-so-happy you’re WONDERing about hitting a bullseye, Eliana! It sounds like you’ve been practicing a lot and you’ve accomplished some very cool things! WAY TO GO! We hope you’ll keep up the great work and will become an excellent archer! We hope you have a WONDERful weekend! :)

    • How awesome, Wonder Friend Jack! This Wonder really hit the mark, didn’t it? Thanks for WONDERing with us about one of your favorite sports! :)

  33. I have two crossbows and I love to shoot them. I have even shot a flaming arrow. I thought this wonder was very cool. :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    • WOW, that is quite a collection of archery equipment, Andrew! We are glad this Wonder made you smile– what a great connection! :)

    • We Wonder if you’ve been practicing the game of darts for a while, Desmond the Moon Bear? It takes a very skilled person to hit the bullseye– it sounds like you’re a seasoned darts athlete! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Can you hit the bullseye?
  • What is archery?
  • What are you aiming for?

Wonder Gallery

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Try It Out

Can you hit the bullseye? Grab a few friends and family members and take a shot at one or more of the following activities!

  • Can kids really be archers? You bet they can! Jump online to check out these interesting videos:
  • Has The Hunger Games or today’s Wonder of the Day inspired you to take up archery? With a few simple items—and lots of help from an adult—you can make your own Homemade Bow and Arrows. Have fun living like the pioneers as you take a few simple items provided by Mother Nature and turn them into your very own archery set. Ask the adult who helps you make your bow and arrows to help you learn to shoot them, too. Have fun and always be safe!
  • Whether you hit the bullseye depends upon what target you’re aiming for, doesn’t it? You don’t have to play darts or take part in archery competitions to have targets you’re aiming for. All you need are goals. What goals are you currently pursuing? Are you trying to eat healthier foods or exercise more? Perhaps you’re trying to get better grades. Maybe you’re trying to accomplish a particular feat in sports. Whatever activities you’re involved in, you probably have goals associated with them. Take some time today to think about the goals you’re currently pursuing. Choose one of them and talk about it with a friend or family member. How close are you to your goal? What preparation do you still need to do to reach your goal? Are there intermediate steps you need to take before you can reach your goal? Brainstorm a bit and come up with a plan to reach your goal as quickly as possible. With a little help from friends and family and careful planning, you’re sure to hit the bullseye in no time!

Still Wondering

In Econ EdLink’s The ABCs of Saving lesson, children participate in an activity in which they must distinguish between short-term and long-term goals.

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is really for the dogs!

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