Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 14:51:39 EST


Subject: Re: "my bad" and other bounceball terminology

In a message dated 11/6/97 8:59:58 AM, you wrote:

In addition to "my bad" there are many other words and phrases used on the

basketball court that weren't used when I started playing in 1945. And

there are some that have been lost. Back then when someone stayed back on

offense in order to get a long pass and make an easy basketball, he was

called a "radioman" or "snowbird." I never hear "radioman" any more and

haven't for many years, and "snowbird" isn't used much any more either. We

used to play "bounceball." Now people "shoot some hoops." The phrases

"pick-up" and "make it, take it" came in, I think, about the same time as

"my bad." Since the sixties we have new names for positions, too--point

guard, shooting guard, wings, and power forwards. And sports announcers

have added accounting terms such as "triple double" Rule changes have led

us to coin "three pointer," "possession arrow," "twenty-four second clock,"

and "lane violation."

Dick Heaberlin

Of course, there are distinctions between pick-up ball, and professional or

college ball. What the announcers on television or radio use is often

different from what is used on the playground. And different from what even

the pro and college players use amongst themselves. I cover a lot of these

uniquely "pickup ball" terms in How To Talk American, and leave out most of

the announcer terms. Though even there there's many new additions, as in "2

guard," as opposed to shooting guard. "Small forward" is another.... When I

have more time I'll really go off on these new additions. For now, I leave it

to ADS, Bill Walton and, of course, Bitin' Marv Albert.