late 14c., Scottish dialect, probably from Old French renc, reng "row, line," from Frankish or another Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "something curved, circle," from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." Probably confused in meaning with ring (n.1) in sense of "area marked out for a sporting contest." From 1787 in curling; ice hockey sense first attested 1896.
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