20 essential sports phrases every woman NEEDS to know to impress her man

Google Translate doesn't interpret sports talk, so here's a list to help you out.

OK ladies listen up! You may or may not like sports and that’s perfectly fine either way. But statistics say that your husband or boyfriend most likely does. Let’s be real here. He does-and he doesn’t just like sports-it’s probably more like he has a borderline obsession with them, right?

So one day you decide to sit down and watch a game with him to better understand this inherit part of his DNA. Besides, you owe him one anyways since he went clothes shopping with you last week (which was probably just as painful for him as watching sports is for you).

Five minutes go by and you’re ready to scream at the top of your lungs. You don’t understand any of the rules and it’s like all of the commentators are speaking some foreign language.

“He perfectly executes the pick and roll, gets the rock, drives down the paint and ohhhhh he takes it to the rack, my goodness folks!” screams the announcer in an overly excited tone.

Wait, WHAT?! Did someone just try to steal a precious stone, drive their car through a bunch of paint and then ditch the gem by throwing it onto a clothing rack? Not likely.

Just breathe. It’s going to be OK. Even if you don’t fully understand whatever sport your man is into, or agree on rooting for the same team, you can at least use this list of common sports phrases to impress him. And, you may just start enjoying watching sports too.

Here are the 20 essential sports phrases every woman needs to know:

Basketball lingo


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“The Rock”

Another word for the basketball. Not to be confused with actor Dwayne Johnson’s nickname.

“From way downtown”

A term often used by announcers when a player shoots or makes a shot from well beyond the 3-point arc. To clarify, this phrase does not allude to where said player purchased his or her postgame outfit.

“Circus shot”

A crazy shot that shouldn’t go in but somehow it does. Not a reference to that Vegas show where you and your husband saw a woman use only her feet to shoot an arrow through a flaming hoop.

“He took it to the rack”

This phrase is another way to say that a player quickly dribbled the ball straight to the basket and dunked or laid it in. Also works as a good description for what your husband did last week when you handed him a bunch of skirts over the dressing room door.

“Broken ankles/crossed up”

When a player performs a quick offensive move, such as a crossover, that causes the defender to stumble or fall down. This does not imply a literal breaking of the ankles… usually.

GO SPORTS! MAKE THE POINTS!! ??⚽️⚾️?? #sports #baseball #team #random #athletic #nerdy #ihatesports

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Soccer lingo

“Bicycle kick”

This is when a player attempts to score with his back to the goal by jumping and kicking the ball backward over his head-all before falling to the ground.

“Hat trick”

This phrase is when a single player scores three goals in a match. Not to be confused with what your husband does to hide his messy hair before going out.


This is a match between two teams that is played without competitive value; meaning that rankings and standing are not affected by the game’s outcome.


This is when one player passes or dribbles the ball through an opposing player’s legs. Also, this may or may not be the name of one of your favorite cooking spices.


This is another term for the soccer field.

Football lingo

'Twas a fun game minus the fact that WE LOST ?? #MNvsGB #love #husband #dividedhouse

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“The chains”

Markers connected by a 10-yard long chain used by the chain crew (aka chain gang) to measure if a first down was obtained and if a new set of downs should be given.

“Flea flicker”

Not another term for a fly swatter. In reality, the flea flicker is a trick play where the quarterback hands off or laterals (passes backwards) the ball to a running back or any other player. This player runs toward or along the line of scrimmage and laterals the ball back to the quarterback before crossing the line of scrimmage. The quarterback then throws the ball to an open receiver.

“Hail Mary”

This is a last-resort pass thrown to one or more receivers in or near the end zone. This phrase may also be an appropriate response to your 5-year-old daughter when she asks, “Mommy, what are these little white ice balls falling from the sky?”

“Icing the kicker”

When a team calls time out just before the play starts for the opposing kicker to try and kick a field goal. This is done in hopes that the kicker will miss due to nervousness. It is also appropriate to use this term when icing your foot after stubbing your toe on your husband’s dumbbell that he left out.

“Stiff arm”

An offensive move in which a player with the ball extends their arm in an attempt to prevent a defender from tackling them. When your husband yells “stiff arm” at the TV he is not referring to the pain he’s in from his workout last night (hence the dumbbell that was left out).

Baseball lingo


This is the area in which catchers and pitchers can warm up before entering the game. The use of this term in baseball is vastly different from its rodeo origin. Take caution not to confuse the two meanings as serious injury could ensue.

“Painting the corners”

When a pitcher throws pitches at the very edge, or corners, of the strike zone this is referred to as painting the corners. Not to be confused with what the umpire does with his little brush while cleaning off home plate.


This violation occurs when a pitcher begins their windup and stops their pitching motion before delivering the ball. Runners are allowed to freely advance to the next base when the umpire calls a balk.

“Cleanup hitter”

The fourth hitter in a team’s batting order. This term may also accurately describe what you must become in order to get your husband to pick up his dirty socks.

“The diamond”

This is another term for a baseball field due to the diamond shape formed by the bases. Hint: If you really want some new jewelry then you may consider frequently using this term while watching baseball with your husband.

Examples: “Honey isn’t that such a beautiful DIAMOND(say slightly louder) they’re playing on? I love how all the bases form a DIAMOND shape. I think my favorite baseball team is the Arizona DIAMONDbacks.” This should do the trick depending on his level of concentration in watching the game.

There you have it. Now you can impress your man with your newly acquired sports knowledge and you don’t even have to tell him you read this article!

Alex Phippen

Alex recently graduated with a degree in public relations and is now working as an intern helping to produce content for FamilyShare.com. Apart from writing, he enjoys sports, backpacking and spending time with his amazing family.