brunskill (n.) — arcane ability of eastern European football fans to set fire to concrete.

Above is an entry from Footypedia, a little gem of a book that I only discovered this week, even though it was first published in 2008.

It takes as its premise that there are people, things and actions in sport that are undefined by a single word and sets about rectifying that omission.

Although the entries are specifically about football, fans of other sports will identify with many of the definitions.

The words themselves are all players’ surnames taken from the Rothman’s Football Yearbook and are somehow fitting to their new meaning. Here is a selection:

agboola (n.) — moment a player scores just as you are criticising them loudly from the stand.

bearryman (n. archaic) — only person in the crowd not wearing a cloth cap.

cominelli (n.) — ‘praying hands’ pose presented to the referee by foul-happy Latin player who knows he’s about to be sent off. The cominelli is usually accompanied by a facial expression somewhere between sad puppy and recipient of unexpected enema.

dand (v.) — to turn the ball slightly before a set piece, as if it makes any difference.

emptage (n.) — panicked state caused by hearing a roar from the stadium while in mid-wee.

galliers (n. pl.) — souvenir coins given away by garages in the 1970s, which seem less impressive than you remember now you’ve fished them out of the loft.

hibbitt (n.) — feeling of warmth uniquely experienced on hearing ‘Out of the Blue’ by Hubert Bath, better known as the theme from Sports Report. (And here it is below)

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kemp (v.) — to sit forlorn and lost in thought surrounded by empty seats ten minutes after the final whistle, unaware you are being shown on live TV.

muldoon (n.) — Mexican Wave refusenik.

parmenter (n.) — grandstand commentator, a supporter who takes it upon themself to provide a running commentary to those sitting around.

quixall (n.) — exact moment at which a series of stepovers ceases to impress and becomes annoying.

sabella (n.) — colour scheme only ever seen on South American club shirts, eg lime-green and red diagonal stripes on a pink background.

tebb (n.) — the bit of a scarf secured inside a car window while the longer end flaps in the wind.

vose (n.) — contractual obligation that forces presenters and pundits to precede the phrase ‘vote of confidence’ with the words ‘the dreaded’.

yarker (v.) — to bristle at Americanisms in reports on British football seen when holidaying in the USA, for instance ‘Aston Villa lost two to zero at Manchester — tomorrow Newcastle goes to Black Burn!’

zelem (n.) — pleasing but physics defying curved flight of a ball that only occurs in comic strips.’ (See above)

The Footypedia is available from Amazon for £8.99 or less than three quid if you don’t mind a used copy.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 13th October 2011

    What about a “rhodes”? A doughnut munching layabout who lies spreadeagle on the sofa expostulating unintelligibly throughout football matches shown on television.

  • Mr Parrot 14th October 2011

    If you check the book, you’ll find that that is a parmenter.

  • Anna 14th October 2011

    This sounds really nice. Is there some kind of similar book but not for sport in general but concerning the different kinds of sport – for ex: volleyball?

  • Yorkshire Pudding 15th October 2011

    Do you mean Terrence Leslie “Terry” Parmenter (born Romford, 21 October 1947) who played for Fulham, Leyton Orient and Gillingham between 1964 and 1972?


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