Everyday words learnt through a love of football

It’s a well known fact that following the footy can be beneficial to your education. Maths is covered well; the 6 times tables are the first to be memorised, halves and quarters are simple to pick up and acute angles are easy to master. History and geography are touched on with the saying ‘via the cape’ (description of Richmond’s game style!) and even religion is taught when a ‘David and Goliath battle’ takes place.
But what of literacy? The literary world often seems poles apart from sport, but what did growing up immersed in football provide me when it comes to the spoken and written word?
The below tweet should answer that question.
Boot tweet
It suddenly dawned on me last week that there are a number of everyday words I know and use, which I first heard and learnt due to the footy. They’re a combination of words I learnt from hearing the crowd at a game (yes…expletives too!!), from reading newspaper reports, listening to television and radio commentators, to good old fashioned footy chat with family and friends. Whether I would have found these words without footy…well I’ll never know.

footy 112

I learnt some 'everyday words' in this manner at the footy!
(Jeff Hook image)

I decided to ask the same of my twitter followers and I was overwhelmed with the response I got! The discussion eventually skewed into footy sayings and even made up footy words, but for the purpose of this post I’ve included only everyday words which can be used independently from football.

footy 134

I grew up listening to these 'wordsmiths.' Sandy, Pete and Don.

Below is the list of 103 everyday words that my twitter followers and me have football to thank for.

Everyday footy words

The words were able to broken into a few different categories,  and a few of the stronger groups of words were;

Medical terms – Anterior, Cruciate, Hyper-extended, Ligament, Medial, Peptide (x2), Rupture, Sub-laxed, Navicular,

Corporate terms- Equalisation, Merger, Rationalisation

Footy Player Adjectives – Disinterested, Dour, Goer, Laconic, Lackadaisical, Mercurial, Mongrel, Opportunist, Prodigious, Tagger

Match Results – Annihilated, Boilover, Belting, Cakewalk, Hiding, Shellacking,

Kick descriptors – Wormburner, Soccered, Punt, Prodigious, Mongrel,

An old fashioned fight! – Brouhaha, Melee, Clash, Fracas,

As it ended up, melee was mentioned more than any other word, and a personal favourite was ‘stalwart,’ a word I certainly know firstly because of the footy!

Thanks to @Harri_Chas_17 @NABFW @SteveHealyyy @4boat @MarkDuffett @PaulErickson @ten_apples @AndrewGigacz @SirSuaveTheCat @APH1991 @cweaver1993 @HawkNinja76 @iamtheoracle @BumtownVic @roachy01 @JRRivett @DamianWhite42 @benno_76 @TheBlackCat1859 @Martin_Sanna @ossienet @M_1tch @Dgen717 @PaulMavroudis @Andrew_SaysSo @STaylor9891 @Tigers_Of_Old & @cade_e whose nominations made the cut. Sorry to everyone else who contributed but it was fun all the same. A special mention does go to @nervous_twittch who nominated ‘Porplyzia!’

It was heaps of fun guys. May football continue to educate both young and old!

PLEASE add any words you have footy to thank for in the comments section!




6 thoughts on “Everyday words learnt through a love of football

  1. Great Blog, what about screamer and corky just of the top of my head, and I know its not exclusive to our great game but I reckon I was using the word Oval before I started school thanks to footy. Off your topic here but because we sometimes sat in the old stand at Richmond, your uncle could spell R-I-C-H-M-O-N-D before he could spell C-A-T.

    Father (of) Boot

    (Just thought of Herringbone)

  2. John, another beaut blog, teasing out the lexicon and neoglisims (is that the word?) of footy. Apologies no tweet from me – spotted this wordy campaign late and thought to jot some down, but got waylaid.

    Where’s the ‘flood’?

    My particular fondness is for words the game has lent our language, such as barrack and shepherd and handball and outer. Many of the field positions also are unique to Australian rules. I think rugby had a ruck and soccer has a full-back and wingman, but neither has a rover, ruck-rover, half-forward flanker, nor all implied limitations of a back-pocket. Is a full-forward unique to our game? What about a ‘behind’? No other game has a ‘premiership quarter’, no other sport has such a glorious affliction as the ‘Colliwobbles’ (coined after 1970 GF).

    It’s a funny old game, football. Thanks again for this beaut blog – it was a chaos ball for all who love to think about the way we think about our game.

    TTBB (aka Dugald)

  3. Love this list. I read through it and felt like I had just listened to a whole season of footy on the radio. Thought of some omissions; daisycutter, torpedo, calico, liniment, arthroscope, squib, rainmaker and my favourite (bring it back!) utility.

  4. Although I well and truly knew the word banana since my young days, football has certainly reinforced the word since. In fact football kept the word banana in the van when we lost our banana crops (went missing under pressure) during recent storms up north. Hey, in what other sport do you get to kick a banana. Because of my age I can also nominate flick, stab and gluepot.

    Father Boot

  5. Love it! I would like to add ‘follower’ which was how the ruckmen were referred to on the team list. And also the good old ‘donnybrook’ (can’t we have just one of those a season?).

    While not single words i was always fascinated by ‘Grandstand player’ and ‘Champagne football’.
    That’s it, i’m done.

    Bulldog boy

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