Three-peat

One of the many new coinings that begin in sport and then cross over to other contexts, three-peat is a portmanteau word, a blend of three and repeat.  Quite simply, it means winning a championship, race or other competition three times. If they are consecutive wins, even better.

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Lydia Ko gets the three-peat, winning the Sticky Bunker Golf Championship for the third year running!

 The backstory to this term is that it was registered as a trademark in 1989 by the coach of the Lakers basketball team.  There have been several legal challenges to this on the grounds that the word is too generic (too much in everyday use as a noun describing a general state or situation) to qualify as a trademark but so far, its status remains.

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Rap singers and the more creative have shifted three-peat over to other achievements like having sex with three different people in the same day/night/weekend/week (You choose when you use it!)

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Slog

Another four letter word!

This week has been a long slog workwise!

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As you can see it means something hard and difficult to get through.  Usually referred to work but can also describe walking in difficult conditions.

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It was quite a slog getting to the point in driving rain and a headwind.

A third meaning relates to hitting and I have seen it used a lot with sports. It implies a bit heavy powerful strike of the ball.

The batsman slogged the ball out of the ground.

Hence slogger.

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Jones is better known as a slogger getting a high score in quick time than as a patient batsman with finesse.

Some of you might ask about slug. Yes. It can mean hit as well along with multiple other meanings best left for another day.

 

To Nail it

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An idiom (and phrasal verb) that is in widespread use in English. It means to get something exactly right or to produce the correct solution/answer/response to a need.

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Lorraine needed to make a perfect souffle to win the cooking contest and even though it was her first attempt at one, she nailed it and was awarded first prize.

Denis needed a 9.4 to win the diving competition and he nailed it with a triple somersault rated 9.6 by the judges.

It has a positive meaning. The implication is that some skill or effort is required so you wouldn’t use it to describe successfully doing daily chores or routine tasks.

 

Zip lining

Talk about sanitising the way we describe an activity!

The activity in question is hitching yourself to a pulley that slides down a long cable or wire stretched from tree to tree. Launching yourself from a height, gravity pulls you down and gives you an exciting and often scenic ride over tree-tops and countryside.  The ride can last from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes in general.

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We always called this a flying fox and I remember going on them in school and scout camps in New Zealand and I have been on them in a couple of other parts of the world too and as far I can recall they were named this way.

Now I find them dubbed zip lining or zip wires and that they are being marketed worldwide. Zip line sounds like a plastic bag with its own zip like fastener you use for freezing food.  All very practical and hygienic but nothing like the mystery of the flying fox.  Which are, you ask?

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A large bat with a wide wingspan that can soar across the skies. Much more appropriate if you ask me. But then bats are pretty ugly and not everyone’s cup of tea so you can see why those in marketing decided this outdoor activity needed a new name.

There is a South African term for the same thing – foefie slide – that sounds fun but it seems it may also be out of fashion nowadays.

 

Sledging

If you live in the Northern hemisphere, especially where there is snow, you will probably jump to the conclusion that I am talking about a winter sport using a type of toboggan, sleigh or sledge.  Most dictionary entries begin with this meaning.

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But for many, sledging has a completely different use, as a verb, in places where they play cricket.  So right now in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India and its neighbours, there is surely plenty of sledging going on.

The captain, Archie Bloggs was fined $1000 for sledging

From this you guess that it is not regarded as acceptable.  But it happens!

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Sledging is using insults or verbal abuse towards your opponent in order to put him off his game. Given that cricket has plenty of slow moments as players change positions or new players come onto the field, it is ideal for a bit of strong backchat. Of course, other sports feature sledging too but it is often much quicker and either forgotten or it escalates into something more physical.

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You can imagine too that emerging from “the gentleman’s sport”, there is considerable pride in finding a particularly sharp and witty insult.  And indeed the internet has webpages where you can read some of the best in cricket (be warned that the sport has its own vernacular that can be hard to understand if you don’t know the terminology).

Some examples: A: So, how’s your wife and my kids?

B: Wife’s fine. Kids are retarded.

Bowler: I’ve been waiting two years for another chance at you

Batsman: Looks like you spent it eating

Bowler: If you turn the bat over you’ll get the instructions mate.

There are countless others with liberal use of the ‘f’ word which may not seem as funny on the page as they doubtlessly did on the field.  Just google “best sledges in cricket or in sport” and you can have a good chuckle.