Appendix:Australian rules football slang

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See also List of nicknames used in Australian rules.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z See also


  • aerial ping-pong - a term used to describe the sport since the ball often moves back and forth between two halves of the ground. More often than not a derogatory term used by rugby league football fans, the term was more valid through the 1960s and 1970s; the faster paced running game and increased use of hand passing of the current age has made the term largely obsolete.
  • AFL - the sport of Australian Football; i.e. a child may state "we're going to play a game of AFL" to mean the sport, not the league. This term is used particuarly in New South Wales and Queensland where Aussie Rules is not a native sport and knowledge of the sport is mostly through the marketing campaigns of the AFL.
  • "aggett" - the piece of leather or oval football that the game is played with
  • air conveyance - the football
  • Arctic Park - nickname of former VFL/AFL headquarters ground Waverley Park, for its freezing atmosphere
  • assist - to give the ball to a player who then scores - this statistic has a long history in other sports such as NHL hockey, and is just beginning to gain popularity in the game


  • bag of... - the number of goals a player kicks in one game, e.g. a bag of six.
  • ball in dispute - is a coaching term: refers to the fact that no one has clean possession of the ball
  • ball - short for holding the ball - called by supporters to plead for the umpire to pay a free kick for holding the ball, often when they fear he might pay holding the man. Often dragged out as baalllll. See man on this page
  • banana kick (see checkside)
  • baulk - where a player either 'sells the dummy' in order to pass another, or shifts weight from foot to foot in order to wrong-foot an opponent into believing he is trying to pass him on one side, but actually passes him on the other.
  • behind the stick - a behind
  • belt the living suitcase out of - a piece of radio-friendly vernacular, referring to players in a melee, or a team being thrashed
  • big men - see tall timber
  • blind turn - not used as much today: it is a method of passing an opponent while carrying the ball. The opponent sells the dummy to the opponent, then turns or spins the other way in order to break free from the opponent's grasp or possible grasp.
  • bomb - a long high kick
  • breadbasket - refers to the stomach of a player


  • candy (or sell some candy) - see dummy (or sell the dummy)
  • centimetre perfect - a pass which somehow avoids going out of bounds on the full and/or being spoiled by an opponent. Most commonly used by one of the AFL's best commentators, Dennis Cometti
  • Charlie - the Brownlow Medal
  • cheap stat/cheapie - the disposal from a player who receives an unpressured and extremely short handpass from a teammate with a free kick or mark is said to be cheap because receiving the ball takes no effort
  • checkside or banana - a kick that is kicked with great spin causing a curved trajectory through the air such that it gradually shifts from its initial flight path or direction in flight to another
  • chewy on your boot - a call by opposition supporters or players to a player usually when he is taking a set shot for goal. It is designed to upset his concentration when kicking.
  • chicken wing - used to describe a tackle where one or both arms are pinned and the player is then usually thrown to the ground, unable to break their fall
  • chip-chip - derogatory name currently used to describe a game plan where short kicks are preferred to long ones.
  • chopped off - intercepted
  • clanger - a statistic which records "errors"
  • clearance - clearing
  • coathanger - dangerous high tackle with a forceful straight arm to the opponents neck or head.
  • Colliwobbles - term coined to describe Collingwood's failure in finals between 1958 and 1990, including eight grand final losses and one draw
  • corridor - the centre of the field, and therefore the most direct way to the goals
  • creative disposal - an awkward handpass which is technically illegal, but never penalised
  • cross country basketball - see aerial ping pong
  • crumber - small player or rover best at picking the ball up off the ground after a contest


  • daisy cutter - fast-moving low kick
  • dolly - see 'sitter'
  • donnybrook - an old term used to describe an all-in brawl between opposition players
  • don't argue - when a player with the ball pushes out his hand in the direction of an opponent to fend them off
  • dinosaur - refers to tall players or ruckmen - sometimes also old or veterans
  • dragged - player is moved from field to interchange during game for poor form or conduct (ie. giving away a fifty or making a stupid mistake)
  • dropped - player is moved to the reserves after a poor performance
  • drop kick - a method of kicking the ball with leg follow through. The ball is dropped to the ground and foot contact is made with it immediately after it touches the ground. Ball spins end under end. Not to be confused with 'drop punt'
  • drop punt - the most common method of kicking the ball. Foot contacts the ball similarly to the drop kick but before it reaches the ground. Ball spins end under end
  • dukes - refers to the outstreched arms of a player, usually when taking or spoiling a mark
  • dummy (or sell the dummy) - a type of baulk where a player tricks an opposition player into believing they are about to do something they are not


  • end to end footy - game/activity where two groups indiscriminantly kick the ball back and forth between them and compete for possession of the ball on an individual basis (see kick-to-kick)


  • falcon - when the ball hits a player in the face or the head
  • fat side - refers to the side of the ground which has more space on it
  • fifty - short for 50-metre penalty
  • footy park - AAMI Stadium in Adelaide, formerly known as Football Park
  • floater - a kick which does not spin and floats through the air, or a handpass with a very high trajectory, giving opponents enough time to reach the target
  • fly - refers to players jumping or leaping for the ball - usually for a mark (ie. "the big men fly for the pie/ball")
  • flying shot - means a player taking a pot shot or kick on the run at goal; usually, he will be in the air as his foot makes contact with the ball
  • footy - the name for Australian football throughout most of Australia (with the exception of NSW, Qld and ACT); it refers to Rugby League Football in Sydney and Brisbane. Also the name of the ball itself.
  • foopy - another term (relatively new) used to describe the ball
  • free - short for free kick (ie. that should've been a free)
  • frequent flyer - player that frequently attempts speckies
  • fresh air shot/fresh airy - missing the ball with the kick


  • grab - another word for mark (ie. nice grab)
  • granny - slang for Grand Final
  • ground-level - referring to play taking place along the ground rather than aerially
  • guts, the - the corridor


  • hanger - A term for a spectacular mark where a player appears to hang high in the air to receive the ball, also known as a specky
  • hail mary - when a player kicks or hand passes the ball to no one in particular in the hope that it will reach a team mate (ie. that was a hail mary kick)
  • handy point - a behind scored late in a close game which either extends a lead to 6x+1 points (so that the opposition needs to have at least one extra scoring shot to win), or reduces a deficit to 6x-1 points (so that one fewer scoring shot is needed to win)
  • hard ball - ball is in contested situation or underneath a pack (ie. hard ball gets)
  • hasn't he got a back/neck? the common question of the supporter after his team is not paid an apparent push in the back/high tackle free kick
  • have one's number taken - to be reported; referred to as such because the umpire writes down the player's number in his notebook
  • hear footsteps - to believe one is under more pressure than one actually is
  • helicopter punt - a kick which gyrates flatly like the turbines of a helicopter, and for which Stephen Kernahan was well known
  • high flyer - See specky
  • hip 'n' shoulder - a legal bump
  • home crowd decision - a contentious free kick, usually holding the ball, which is awarded to the home team after an appeal from the crowd.
  • hospital pass - player passes the ball to a team-mate who is immediately in danger of getting bumped, crunched, or tackled, with severe force - and potentially hurt - as they are put in a vulnerable position and unable to protect themselves from an opposition hit.
  • hot-spot - the area at the top of the goal square which is a highly contested area.
  • how'd he get rid of it (ump)? - the common question of the supporter after his team is not paid a holding the ball free kick



  • jumper punch - an attempt to avoid fines for striking by grabbing a fistful of another player's jumper, and then punching with that fist
  • junk time - a portion of the game with low intensity after the final result is beyond doubt


  • kick-to-kick - name of an informal Australian pasttime based on Australian rules football for catch and kick type games, which also includes end to end footy. Often used as a derogatory term to describe possession based games of football. Also refers to the post-game time allocated to allow spectators onto the field. Spectators will bring AFL balls to the game to participate in this (kick-to-kick available at certain times under certain circumstances only).
  • kick for touch - kick that just lands inside the boundary line (borrowed from rugby), with no intended target player.
  • kicking in danger - swinging a boot at the ball when an opposition player's head or hands are in the action of retrieving it - one example of this was an incident in 2005 when Steven King scissor-kicked into the air during a ruck contest and caused major facial injuries to Jeff White, however most of the time it refers to a ground-level situation)


  • lead - player running into the clear to present himself to a fellow team mate as a possible target to receive a pass from him
  • leg - to illegally tackle a player below the knees (as in he's legged him.)
  • long break - half time break


  • maggot - slang for umpire - white maggot is the more traditional terminology, but this has been generalised since umpires switched to coloured uniforms
  • magoos - derogatory rhyming slang for the reserves, also known as the twos
  • man - short for holding the man- called by supporters to plead for the umpire to pay a free kick for holding the man, often when they fear he might pay holding the ball. The two are often screamed simultaneously by opposing fans. See ball on this page
  • man mountain - Used to describe a tall player. (eg He's a bit of a man mountain. - sometimes used as just mountain as in He's a mountain.)
  • minor score - a behind
  • mongrel punt - a kick that spins awkwarldy but goes in the correct direction
  • mug - see 'yamug' (below)


  • nutmeg - usually a handball between the legs of an opponent to a team mate.
  • nuggety - Refers to the type of player who makes the most of a limited skill set through their determination and will power; usually a back pocket. Or, referring to a shorter and stockier player.


  • one day in September, the - the Grand Final
  • one-hander - a one handed catch / mark


  • paddock - The playing field
  • pill - another term used to describe the ball
  • pine, the - the interchange bench
  • ping - To take a shot at the goals (i.e. Have a ping)
  • pinged - describes the player when the umpire pays a free kick (i.e. pinged for holding the ball)
  • poster - a behind scored by the ball hitting the goal post
  • proud club - most commonly used to euphemistically describe once-great clubs who are performing poorly
  • prune - term used to describe the ball

peanut - trem used to describe the ball



  • rainmaker - a very high kick that doesn't cover much ground
  • red time - the final two playing minutes of any quarter
  • rotation - tactical interchanges or positional changes used to ensure that followers do not succumb to fatigue
  • roost - a technique of kicking the ball; one which the player kicks the ball a significant distance both height and length
  • rushed behind - conceding a minor score when in defence


  • sausage roll - used to refer to a team scoring a goal (see Australian rhyming slang)
  • scrag - hold a player by the jumper behind play or after they have taken a mark.
  • scone - nickname for football player's head.
  • scoop - picks up the ball on the run.
  • screamer - see specky
  • screw shot - refers to a kick on the run which needs to be kicked back over the shoulder, 'around the corner' or over the head to go through goal
  • September - used to refer to the finals series
  • set shot - used when a player has taken a mark or has a free kick, and is permitted to kick for goal without any physical pressure placed on him
  • shank - when a player has mis-cued a kick, he is said to have "shanked" it
  • shark - to rove a ruck tap-out from the opposing ruckman
  • shepherd - to block the path of an opposing player. A perfectly legal tactic when performed within 5 metres of the ball.
  • sherrin - the common ball manufacturer, also a name for the ball
  • shirtfront - dangerous front-on bump if done incorrectly.
  • shocker - refers to a player or a team performing badly, either in a piece of play or throughout the whole game.
  • show pony - player who tends to over finesse simple tasks, yet also generally shirks the hard ball contests; also used to describe an umpire who is excessively flamboyant with his signalling
  • sitter - player should be able to easily mark the ball, or kick the goal (ie. drops a sitter or misses a sitter)
  • skipper - the captain of the team
  • sling - when someone is spun around in a tackle by the collar
  • slow moving barge - a player who moves like and has the turning circle of a large boat
  • smother - player stops a kick from being properly executed
  • snag - a slang term for a goal, based upon sausage roll (see above)
  • snap - ambitious kick at goal from difficult angle, sometimes over the head
  • soda - a gimme shot on goal
  • soccer - kicked the ball off the ground in the manner of an soccer player
  • spear tackle - when a player tackles an opponent, turns them upside down and then drives them head first into the ground
  • spent it before he had it - player drops the ball trying to pass it
  • speedster - an exceptionally fast player
  • special - Made famous by Bruce McAveney refers to emerging young talent ( as in: That bloke's special! )
  • specky - a high mark over one or more other players; presumably short for 'spectacular mark'
  • spiritual leader - the buzz word of 2006, when a player shows on field or off field leadership, though they may not be the captain. Often the player is a senior player who has previously been captain of the team, or one renowned for his wisdom and toughness (e.g. Aaron Hamill is a spiritual leader at St. Kilda)
  • spoil - when a player has a certain mark only to have it affected by another player resulting in the mark not being taken
  • spray (1) - a harsh lecture given to a poorly performing player or team by the coach or captain; also called a bake or a roast
  • spray (2) - to miss a shot at goal
  • stacks on the mill - a pack forms on top of the ball, forcing a ball-up
  • State of Origin - (a term devised in Australian rules circles, now used only in rugby league.) Interstate games in which players are selected on the basis of which Australian state they first played in.
  • stepladder - the player over whom a specky is taken
  • stiff - unlucky or harshly dealt with (i.e. he was stiff not to get a free)
  • switch play - to kick the ball laterally; no ground is gained, but ground is usually more easily gained afterwards.


  • tagger - a player whose sole purpose is to negate an opposition player. Usually involves following and scragging.
  • tall timber - refers to tall or key position players
  • telegraph - to inadvertently make it obvious who the intended target of a pass is
  • Telstra dome - one of two main football grounds in the city of Melbourne (2002–2009). Then known as 'Etihad Stadium' when sponsorship deal ended (2009–2018) and named 'Marvel Stadium' (since 2019).
  • the G - the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or M.C.G.
  • thrashing - a big win or loss, usually by fifty points or more; also called, among other things, a smashing, smacking, rout, annihilation, shellacking, massacre, pounding, thumping, domination, etc.
  • throw - an illegal pass (ie, a handball conducted by throwing instead of properly punching)
  • tiggy touchwood - a soft decision given by the umpire
  • ton - one hundred goals in a season
  • torpedo - method of kicking the ball, named due to ball spiralling or spinning in the air in torpedo like fashion. Often referred to as a 'torp'.
  • triple-double - one player taking more than ten kicks, ten marks and ten handpasses in one game; triple-doubles are almost exclusively a basketball statistic, but Australian football commentators occasionally make reference to it


  • ump - umpire
  • unit - Used to describe a tough/big player (eg, He's a bit of a unit.)
  • unselfish - said about a player who probably could have scored a goal but chose to pass the ball to another player in a better position.
  • utility player - refers to one who can be used or placed in many positions on the field


  • via the cape - when a team switches play and moves the ball close to the boundary line from defense into attack


  • wet weather footy - describes the ugly, slow style of game which must be played in heavy rain
  • white maggot - slang for umpire wearing white
  • woodwork - goal or behind post. (ie. into the woodwork - when ball hits the post)
  • workhorse - an exceptionally hard working, or workmanlike player
  • worm burner - a kick along the ground that keeps low, and skids along the grass
  • wrapped up - used to describe a player who has been well tackled, usually by more than one opponent (ie. he was well wrapped up)



  • ya mug = you fool - most often used in derogatory sense, referring to the umpire; but it can also be used for players of the opposition
  • yellow maggot - see white maggot


See also[edit]


External link[edit]