Crio’s Q? Sporting Verbs

We drain putts…

We smoke sixes…

We execute plans…

We drill passes.

More verbs please!

What’s some of your favourite or least liked verbs in the world of sports-speak?



  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    When did ‘ clunking a mark’ enter the footy vernacular?

  2. Dermott is the first one I heard say “clunk”.

  3. We “transition” from one premiership window to the next. (Among other transitions.)

  4. Hi,

    Here are some my favourite footy verbs:

    [a name of a St Kilda player] booted a goal from a high mark.
    [a name of a St Kilda player] picked up a ball from an opponent defence and soccered a goal.



  5. We ‘go[es] for home’ and (vomits in mouth) we ‘stand[s] and deliver’

    And hockey fans will be familiar with ‘put the biscuit in the basket’

  6. Peter Flynn says

    Seeds are ‘bundled’ out.

  7. In basketball we “dish” passes or assists. We “throw down” dunks. We “draw” fouls, but we only ever just “make” a shot!

  8. I am planning an article on the verb “to watto”. Defined as habitual failure in innovative ways from those whose talent or skill indicates otherwise.
    To whit: Our former Defence ‘wattoed’ his way to the backbench with a breathless talent for engaging his mouth before the brain was engaged.
    Of course “watto” has potential as a noun also.
    In the days when I used to play the ponies it could be said that when I walked into a TAB I put a ‘watto’ on my head. (Used to be ‘pumpkin’ but ‘watto’ is more current and expressive).

  9. easy target Peter…arguably Australia’s best all-rounder of our time
    Anyway, back to verging-
    punters launch. bookies reel unless jockey slaughters

  10. I think ‘to Bradbury’ will always retain a tenuous toehold in Australian vernacular.

    Fast bowlers steam in, while batsmen increasingly seem to launch balls.

    In footy, the one I’ve decided I don’t like (despite having used it myself in these august e-pages) is players entering (i.e. Enter Joe Bloggs) when, previously unsighted, they have an influence on the game.

  11. umpires adjudicate
    players remonstrate

  12. To drill a pass to a leading forward.

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Bring back batsmen ‘smiting’

    And I saw some game on the tele the other night that had ‘batters slogging’, not sure what sport it was though.

  14. Peter Flynn says

    “Dob’ a torp.

    Watto’s been sconed this morning in the nets.

    Watto and Haddin appear to have lost some nerve in the last month unfortunately.

  15. Mick Jeffrey says

    There’s always the cheeky Scrum Half who likes to “snipe” down the blind side.

  16. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Spectators have been known to ‘crack a coldie’

  17. Glen Potter says

    Thumbs up: ‘fashions’ the kick. I really like fashion used as a verb, as if to shape something, or in the case of an Aussie rules kick, to steer in a direct manner.
    Thumbs down: ‘versed’ someone or ‘versing’ someone.
    A nasty little habit crept into a couple of AFL post-match interviews last season, such as, “When we versed them last time ……….”, etc. I thought I only heard this around 10-year-olds.
    I’m happy to stand corrected on this but I’m sure both aren’t verbs. (Please note I refused to say ain’t instead of aren’t)

  18. I know it’s not a verb, but it is amazing how often the phrase “in tatters” is used in sport:
    i.e “Federer’s title defence is in tatters”, “the Indian middle order is in tatters after Johnson ran through it” etc etc.

  19. Glen, “versing” and “versed” have been commonplace for about a decade and those (then) 10yr-olds will carry it with them – expect it to be “dictionaried” soon.

  20. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Peter Hanlon must be an avid reader of Crio’s

    “In the afternoon session, Milburn bounced shots off the old brick wall at the Stanley Street end. Maclean can still see him three paces down the wicket to spinner Bob Paulsen, losing his footing, and smiting the ball one-handed through point for four as he fell over.”

  21. Mick Jeffrey says

    I know its not a verb but it strikes me that every Australian tennis player will either get a tough or horror draw at Grand Slams.

  22. I do recall in the old VFL days when if a a player was ‘knocked out’, it was said he’d had an illness. For example in the 1965 VFL preliminary final one of the commentators spoke of the prone JohnSomerville, describing his condition in the following terms, “it looks like he’s had an illness!’ Not too many illnesses in modern day footy.


  23. The punter got”set” usually like a jelly
    The trainer “declared” one
    The field got “skittled” normally first turn in a dog race
    The horse I backed got (or the player) “poleaxed”..a regular occurrence

Leave a Comment