Whether it"s professional, college, or one-on-one in your backyard, basketball is one of the most renowned games in the world. Its popularity has even led to basketball slang uncovered in day-to-day vocabulary. Examine out a list of famous slang native you might hear around the court, and soon you’ll sound choose a pro yourself!



B-Ball is one more term for basketball. Even though over there are various other sports that begin with the exact same letter (such as baseball), b-ball always refers come basketball.

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The ax baller originally referred come basketball players. However, it’s often used come describe world who are an extremely cool and also wealthy, or even as one adjective because that the same quality. (“That auto is for this reason baller!”)


A brick is regarded an air round in the the sphere doesn’t do it into the basket. Yet a brick shoot bounces haphazardly off the in salt or the backboard, prompting phone call of “Brick!” from fans of the opposing team.

Buzzer Beater

A buzzer beater can refer to both a shot make in the last 2nd of a shoot clock and also in the last 2nd of a game. However, you’ll normally hear this term once the shooting in concern is the winning shooting of the game.

Double Dribble

The ball must keep relocating in basketball. A basketball player who captures the sphere mid-dribble and continues to dribble – or that dribbles through both hands at the very same time – is double dribbling.


If you do a three-point shot from the foul line, did you do it made it from “downtown.” You’ll regularly hear this term as soon as someone renders a an extremely unlikely shot regardless of the distance.

Dropping Dimes

A player who renders a series of successful assists or set up other players for an essential shots is dropping dimes. A “dime” is an assist. It originates from the expression “dropping a dime,” referring to dropping 10 cents right into a pay phone to help someone out.


Very talented football player may grasp the fadeaway, where one provides a run shot while falling backward v the air. The shooting creates room for the shooter to make a much more accurate shoot while staying clear of defenders. Michael Jordan had specifically impressive fadeaway shot.


Have you ever seen a player act favor a young touch is a devastating injury in hopes of earning a foul shot? This exercise is recognized as a flop, and players who autumn to the floor v exaggerated drama are well-known as floppers.

Granny Shot

If friend shoot the basketball underhand versus overhand, you could hear calls of “granny shot!” across the court. However, for expert basketball players favor Rick Barry, the so-called granny shot provides for a pretty an excellent free-throw percentage.


A player who is fantastic at jumping with the ball deserve to make a surname for himself through his hops (jumps). Ideally, a player with a most hops deserve to make an ext baskets.

Making the Rain

Ever seen a player who can’t miss out on a shooting from all over in the court? that player is making that rain – sinking shots native seemingly the end of nowhere.


A man-to-man defensive strategy puts every player versus another player of similar size and ability. This defense is an ext common once the whole team is equally talented.

Putting ~ above a Clinic

Some basketball gamings are so good that they feel an ext like a basketball lesson. Football player in these games are putting top top a clinic, which is a discovering session because that basketball beginners.


A very talented basketball player may display off a bit when they’re winning a game. The loser the that video game can consider themselves schooled (also recognized as taken come school).

Sixth Man

Because there are five members of a basketball team, the sixth man is the player who reliably replaces among the beginning players. Friend may additionally hear this hatchet in the paper definition of a basketball team’s fans who speak to themselves “Sixth Man.”


A splash is a dramatic three-point shot from far away. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry that the golden State Warriors have the nickname “Splash Brothers” as result of their capability to sink three-pointers.


Nothing but net! That defines a swish shot the doesn’t touch the backboard or rim together it goes through the basket.

Three in the Key

If you’re preparing an offensive play to do a basket, most of it needs to happen exterior the key. Three in the key describes a ascendancy violation when an attack player spends an ext than three secs inside the key, commonly while prepare to receive a ball to make a basket.


Even though players want to gain the round down the court as quickly as possible, they can’t travel to perform it. Traveling involves a player moving a ball without dribbling for more than three steps. It’s comparable to a twin dribble, but a travel player is in activity while hold the ball.

Zone Defense

Teams who pick not to practice man-to-man defense may pick a zone defense. Defensive players security an area that the court, or “zone,” rather than separation, personal, instance players.

How Basketball Began

It was Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education professor, that came up through the idea of nailing a peach basket ~ above a balcony, and having the students in his class take turns throwing a ball right into the "hoop."


The students to be members of the YMCA"s cultivate school. Naismith wanted to come up v a healthy, fun sport where the students might burn off excess power indoors and the video game was easily playable in the confines of a small gym (which additionally functioned as an auditorium because that plays and also activities).

It was Naismith who named his new game "basket (for the peach basket) ball.” The video game was an immediate hit with the students, and also quickly spread to various other schools. There to be an initial problem with the peach basket, though: if the scorer acquired the ball right into the basket, the video game stopped till someone could cost-free the ball. The basket, nailed high turn off the floor, still had the bottom intact!

Knocking the Bottom Out

Naismith and his "basket ball" recruits, though, quickly established that knocking the bottom the end of the basket, and allowing the round to be returned, bouncing, come the players made the game a lot an ext interesting.

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Afterwards, they soon realized that human being watching the game from the balcony were unwitting targets in instance the round flew previous the basket. Naismith came up through the idea of utilizing a plank behind the basket to safeguard spectators. That wooden contrivance, now well-known as the backboard in basketball, is quiet in use today.

More B-Ball Terms and also Quotes

Now the you understand the straightforward slang provided in basketball, you’re sure to sound choose a pro on the court – as lengthy as you’ve acquired the an abilities to ago it up! For more basketball resources and information, examine out a perform of inspirational quotes around basketball from some of the most famous players in history. Friend might also enjoy part awesome basketball facts around leagues, players and also coaches.