Slate, “These Sports Terms Should Be Playable in Scrabble”

March 18, 2014

Stefan Fatsis, “These Sports Terms Should Be Playable in Scrabble” (Slate, Lexicon Valley blog, Mar. 18, 2014)

Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer suggests several baseball terms.Gyroball had a short, mysterious, overblown life as the secret pitch of Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka. Hitterish has been attributed all the way back to Babe Ruth. (If you remove an H you get SHITTIER, which isn’t in the OSPD because it’s an offensive term but is playable in club and tournament Scrabble, which allows a set of words—known as the Poo List—banned from the over-the-counter dictionary in the 1990s).

Zimmer also offers eephusjunkballribbie, and squibber. An S-A-B-R front-hook for METRICS is overdue. As are the one-word adjectives leftfieldrightfield, and centerfield, and their nounal -ER extensions. Loogy, an acronym for Lefty One Out GuY, deserves a spot in the lexical lineup. As does its homonym, loogie, the viscous ball of expectorant released by many a ballplayer, possibly derived from Lou Gehrig’s name (though that seems dubious).

Read the rest here.

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