Man on the street: Athletes share special phrases from their sports

Unpacking the meaning behind pancakes, bogeys and splats in sports

Jayanti Jha

Splat. S-p-l-a-t. Bogey. B-o-g-e-y. Offside. O-f-f-s-i-d-e. Paint. P-a-i-n-t. Pancake. P-a-n-c-a-k-e. 

As possibilities of the start of sports seasons arise, El Estoque Sports reporters asked five student athletes to show the uniqueness of their sport by sharing a term from it that many people might not know of or find strange in some way. 

Junior, diver and JV Girls Tennis player Alysa Phattanaphibul begins with the diving term: “splat.” 

“It’s just when you kind of go for a dive and then you land in a weird way, like it’s probably painful, so we usually call it that,” Phattanaphibul said. “And it’s a big part of diving because it’s kind of like trial and error when you’re trying to get a dive, you’re going to hesitate at first and that’s usually what happens.”

Senior and Boys Varsity Basketball player Matthew Whong shares a word he doesn’t think many people could guess the meaning of: “paint.” 

“It’s another name for the key, or the zone between the free throw line and the basket,” Whong said. “It’s just called the paint, and I don’t think many people could have guessed what that was.”

Sophomore and JV Girls Soccer player Avni Gandhi chose “offsides” as a commonly used word for soccer players. 

“People usually think offsides is when you’re just near the goal, but actually, what offsides is, is when you’re behind the last defender of the other team, so the defending team,” Gandhi said. “If you’re behind that person and you get the ball, then you’re counted as offsides. But if you are in front of that person, if you’re further away from the goal, and then you get the ball which is traveling towards the goal, then you are allowed to run up to it and get the ball. But you cannot be behind the last defender when the ball is not in your possession.”

Sophomore and Girls Varsity Golf player Kelly Tung describes a golf term she finds amusing, and thinks others would too, at first listen: “bogey.”

“I thought it was weird because it sounds a bit weird — bogey — I don’t think you would hear that,” Tung said. “In golf, essentially, you have different holes, right, and usually, there’s a standard number of shots you want to do to complete the hole. So for example, let’s say you want to do 3 shots to complete the hole, so that would be called ‘par.’ So that’s a par. And if you do 1 shot over a par, that’s called a bogey.”

Junior and JV Boys Volleyball player Sudhit Rao finds the volleyball term, “pancake” to be a term in the sport that’s just as rewarding as it is strange sounding.

“It’s a weird word to associate with volleyball, but basically, it’s a last resort move,” Rao said. “It’s when the ball’s about to hit the ground, so you really don’t think you can get to it, you slide your hand under the ball so it lands in between the ball and the ground. So your hand will be right there and it’ll bounce back up. It’s a very last resort move and it’s pretty difficult to do, also, but it’s pretty cool when it does happen.”

Music: Tape Star by Shane Ivers –