Amit Paranjape’s Blog

American Sports & Business Jargon

Posted in Current Affairs, Uncategorized by Amit Paranjape on June 26, 2010

Sports jargon is an integral part of the American business language (especially so, in the Sales Department). For someone who is new to the American business world, terms like ‘Basic blocking and tackling’ or ‘Hail Mary’ may not make any sense. These terms are derived from American Football, Basketball and Baseball (there are few from Ice Hockey and other sports as well). Here is an attempt to explain some of these terms … Please do add more terms as well as better explanations! I will expand the blog post with the additions.


 Brett Favre’s recent ‘Hail Mary’ pass

Drop the ball” (Origin: Football). Meaning: Make a (often silly, and avoidable) mistake. Usage: “Please, don’t drop the ball on that one <important project> !”.

“Hit it out of the park” (Origin: Baseball). Meaning: Register a big win/success. Usage: That was a terrific sales quarter… he just hit it out of the park!”.

“Basic blocking and tackling” (Origin: Football). Meaning: Taking care of the basics in any engagement/project. Usage: “You need to focus on the basic blocking and tackling here for this project .. forget all the fancy and cool stuff! “.

“Full Court Press” (Origin: Basketball). Meaning: Well planned, steady, aggressive plan of action. Usage: “Let’s get a full court press on this one…”.

“Punt it away” (Origin: Football).  Meaning: Just push it out for now..avoid it. Usage: “Just punt that away. We are not going to get involved in that opportunity”.

“Just take a wild swing at it” (Origin: Baseball) Meaning: Just venture a wild guess/try at something. Usage: “I have no idea! Just take a wild swing at that one.. and see what happens”.

“Hail Mary” (Origin: Football) Meaning: Try a near impossible long-shot attempt at something. Usage: “That’s a real tough opportunity… Oh well, let’s just try a Hail Mary!”

“Double Play” (Origin Baseball) Meaning: Get two successes in one attempt.

“Home Run” (Origin: Baseball) Meaning: A big win/success.

2 Responses

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  1. Makarand said, on June 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    How about these

    Home run
    Get to first base
    Under par
    Close of play
    Game plan

    amongst others.. Not all ‘American’ but sports jargon in business anyway..

  2. Suhas A. Kelkar said, on July 1, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Bottom of the ninth : Usage: It is last week of the quarter guys. We are in the bottom of the ninth.

    Free Agent: Usage: We should go get that guy on our marketing team. I heard he is currently a free agent!


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