birling (bûrˈlĭng) [key], sport in which two competitors try to maintain balance on a floating log, each seeking to rotate the log and spill the other into the water. With origins in the spring log drives in New England, it became popular with American lumberjacks after the middle of the 19th cent. The first public sponsored match was in 1888.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.