Sports Terms: What to say when you play . . .

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These terms are useful to know. They also correspond to a match game that appears in The 2011 Old Farmer’s Almanac on page 223.

1. Balk: in baseball, an illegal movement by a pitcher
2. Bonk: in snowboarding, to bounce off an object such as a rock, tree, or stump
3. Carom: in hockey, a rebound of the puck off the boards or any other object
4. Catch a crab: in rowing, to stroke an oar and miss the water or dig too deeply
5. Cradling: in lacrosse, a technique for keeping the ball in the stick’s pocket
6. Dink: in tennis, a soft return that causes the ball to drop after crossing the net
7. Gimme: in golf, a putt (usually very short) conceded by an opponent, meaning that it does not have to be putted (There are no gimmes in professional golf or most club competitions.)
8. Grind: in skateboarding, to slide along the edge or top of an object
9. Hog: in curling, a stone that fails to reach the score line
10. Jerk: in weightlifting, to push a weight from shoulder height to a position overhead
11. Kiss: in billiards, a slight touch of a ball against another ball
12. Lollipop: in volleyball, a gentle serve; make too many lollipops and you get licked
13. Maul: in rugby, when players from both sides encircle the player who has possession of the ball
14. Red zone: in football, the imaginary area between the defense’s 20-yard and goal lines
15. Riposte: in fencing, a fencer’s quick return thrust following an opponent’s attack
16. Schuss: in skiing, to ski downhill fast and straight, often in a full-tuck position
17. Slash: in surfing, a quick turn off the top of a wave
18. Sling: also called a “carry”; in badminton, when the shuttlecock is caught by the racket and briefly held before executing the stroke
19. Stutz: in gymnastics, a common swing used on the parallel bars where the gymnast starts from a handstand atop the bars and swings backward between the bars, executing a half-turn along the way and returning to the handstand position to face the opposite way
20. Sur place: also called a “trackstand”; in bicycling, the technique of balancing in place, motionless on a bike
21. Tip-off: in basketball, the jump ball that starts a game
22. Touch out: in swimming, to reach the touch pad first and win a race
23. Trap: in soccer, to use your chest, thighs, or feet to slow down and control a moving ball
24. Turkey: in bowling, three strikes in a row

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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