The seed of a fruit, like a peach, cherry, or olive. Don't swallow the pits, or you may have fruit trees growing out your ears one day.

That's what my father told me, anyway. When I was a kid, I had a deathly fear of swallowing pits. Thanks dad.

"The Pit" is what the gymnasium at University of Oregon is called. The official name is McArthur Court, but "The Pit" and "Mac Court" are the names commonly used by students and Oregon Duck fans. The 10,000 seat auditorium was built in 1926 and named after Clifton N. (Pat) McArthur, a student-athlete and the university's first student body president. The first game was held in 1927, when the "Tall Firs" beat Willamette 38-10. The "Tall Firs" won the first NCAA Championship in 1939. It has since been remodeled and updated several times. In 1992, new locker rooms, a team room and coaches offices were added, and in 1993, women's basketball, volleyball and softball received new quarters. During the 1995-96 academic year, a $400,000 renovation of the outer concourse on the street level was completed and the academic area for student-athletes was completely updated and redesigned. The venerable facility received a new roof in the summer of 1996 to the tune of $1.7 million. New seating in the court level and the first balcony was put in place in the fall of 1997. Mac Court is home to men's & women's basketball, women's volleyball and wrestling. According to a recent poll, McArthur Court was deemed as a Pac-10 visiting team's least favorite place to play and in 1995 Sports Illustrated listed it as one of the 12 toughest places in the country to play college basketball. Oregon's fans are also part of the ambience. The Ducks have ranked annually near the top of attendance figures in the conference and the setting is the favorite of the many television producers and announcers who cover games at Mac Court.

When I attended U of O and was one of the lucky winners in the student lotto for season tickets to football and basketball, I had no idea what an event a basketball game at Mac Court would be. Each time I went, the place was filled to capacity, and it was a challenge to the crowd to see how much we could make the hanging scoreboard suspended over the middle of the court sway in response to our shouting. Basketball games at the Pit and a Grateful Dead concert that I saw there are two of my favorite memories of my years as a duck.

Microscopic depression in the reflective surface of a digital optical storage medium such as a CD, DVD or laserdisc. Pits are like shallow indentations in the surface of a disc. A laser reads the pits and lands (the space between pits that represents the surface-level of the disc) generating binary digital data (ones and zeroes) where there are transitions from a pit to a land and vice versa. This digital data is then used to recreate analog signals that can be played over an audio system or displayed on a video screen.

Pit is also a card game from Parker Brothers based upon the commodities market. Invented in 1904, it is still available today (you can buy it on, for example.)

The game is very simple, just a deck of cards and a bell of the type one sees on some hotel counters. The deck is made up of 8 suits of 6 cards each: Wheat, Barley, Coffee, Corn, Sugar, Oats, Soybeans, and Oranges, with a value from 100 to 50 points per suit in descending order. There are also two jokers, the Bull and Bear cards.

The object is to "corner the market" in a commodity. To play, one suit per player is used to make a game set (therefore the game is for three to eight players.) This set is shuffled along with the bull and bear cards and distributed completely to all players.

The bell is used to start play. once the bell has been rung, each player holds up a number of cards and shouts out how many they are willing to trade: "One! One!" or "Three! Three!" The trade is done without either player seeing the cards traded. Once a player has a complete suit, he or she rings the bell to end the round, receiving the points for that suit.

The value of the Bull card is either positive or negative, depending on whether you have a winning hand or not. If you have a complete suit, the Bull card is worth 50 points. If not, it is worth minus 50. The Bear card is always worth minus 50 points.

I think it's a great game, and a couple of generations of players must agree, since the game has been around for almost 100 years. It's easy to learn, can be played well by groups with great differences in player age and background, and is loud and fast-paced.

Pit (?), n. [OE. pit, put, AS. pytt a pit, hole, L. puteus a well, pit.]


A large cavity or hole in the ground, either natural or artificial; a cavity in the surface of a body; an indentation

; specifically: (a)

The shaft of a coal mine; a coal pit

. (b)

A large hole in the ground from which material is dug or quarried; as, a stone pit; a gravel pit; or in which material is made by burning; as, a lime pit; a charcoal pit

. (c)

A vat sunk in the ground; as, a tan pit.

Tumble me into some loathsome pit. Shak.


Any abyss; especially, the grave, or hades.

Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained. Milton.

He keepth back his soul from the pit. Job xxxiii. 18.


A covered deep hole for entrapping wild beasts; a pitfall; hence, a trap; a snare. Also used figuratively.

The anointed of the Lord was taken in their pits. Lam. iv. 20.


A depression or hollow in the surface of the human body

; as: (a)

The hollow place under the shoulder or arm; the axilla, or armpit

. (b)

See Pit of the stomach (below)

. (c)

The indentation or mark left by a pustule, as in smallpox.


Formerly, that part of a theater, on the floor of the house, below the level of the stage and behind the orchestra; now, in England, commonly the part behind the stalls; in the United States, the parquet; also, the occupants of such a part of a theater.


An inclosed area into which gamecocks, dogs, and other animals are brought to fight, or where dogs are trained to kill rats.

"As fiercely as two gamecocks in the pit."


7. [Cf. D. pit, akin to E. pith.] Bot. (a)

The endocarp of a drupe, and its contained seed or seeds; a stone; as, a peach pit; a cherry pit, etc.


A depression or thin spot in the wall of a duct.

Cold pit Hort., an excavation in the earth, lined with masonry or boards, and covered with glass, but not artificially heated, -- used in winter for the storing and protection of half-hardly plants, and sometimes in the spring as a forcing bed. -- Pit coal, coal dug from the earth; mineral coal. -- Pit frame, the framework over the shaft of a coal mine. -- Pit head, the surface of the ground at the mouth of a pit or mine. -- Pit kiln, an oven for coking coal. -- Pit martin Zool., the bank swallow. [Prov. Eng.] -- Pit of the stomach Anat., the depression on the middle line of the epigastric region of the abdomen at the lower end of the sternum; the infrasternal depression. -- Pit saw Mech., a saw worked by two men, one of whom stands on the log and the other beneath it. The place of the latter is often in a pit, whence the name. -- Pit viper Zool., any viperine snake having a deep pit on each side of the snout. The rattlesnake and copperhead are examples. -- Working pit Min., a shaft in which the ore is hoisted and the workmen carried; -- in distinction from a shaft used for the pumps.


© Webster 1913.

Pit, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pitted (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Pitting.]


To place or put into a pit or hole.

They lived like beasts, and were pitted like beasts, tumbled into the grave. T. Grander.


To mark with little hollows, as by various pustules; as, a face pitted by smallpox.


To introduce as an antagonist; to set forward for or in a contest; as, to pit one dog against another.


© Webster 1913.

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