Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Players' Dictionary

When I joined the team last summer, it didn't take long for me to notice a new trend that was happening in my life. After each and every workout, practice or weights session, I would always find myself rushing to get home to hop on the computer, type in the URL for Urban Dictionary, and look up whatever new word was used by my teammates that day. Pickup games became a Cultural Studies class. I was the student, Chester, Mike D, and Dominique were the teachers. What I was observing everyday was a remarkable mixing of cultures, collision of backgrounds, and a general merging of geographical slang words from different places around the country. (I'm kind of disappointed we didn't have a foreign player to see what words he brought to the table). To make sense of it all, I wrote most of these words down in my own definitions in an easy-to-read format with examples for better understanding. Keeping this information to myself didn't feel right to me, so I am sharing it with you, right here, right now. I also do want to say that if it wasn't for Kyle Clifford, this post would have never happened.

Introducing the "Players" dictionary. A dictionary by yours truly to keep the world in order and confusion at a minimum.


Burner – Noun. Similar to in the video game NBA Jam when you make three shots in a row, you’re on fire. Ex. “Juan hasn’t missed a shot all day. He’s got a burner.”

Bounce - Adj. Describing someone's vertical leap. Ex. "Did you see where that dude jumped from? He got bounce!"

Chu – (Okay so "You" is a pronoun. "Chu" doesn't have a part of speech). – What you get when you don't fully pronounce the 3 letter word "you". Also the sound you make when you sneeze.
Me: Hey can you grab my wallet from the gym, I left it up there.
Anonymous: I got chu.

Crackin' - Adj. Describes an event that is particularly crowded with a hidden meaning that others should join.
Me: How's the party?
Anonymous: It's crackin'!! Sorority girls everywhere. Where you at?
Me: I'll be there in 2.

Fam – Noun. Word put at the end of a sentence or statement to someone that is either really close to you, or in your family. Ex. “What you doin’ tonight fam?”

Finna – Adv. Used as a connector word to explain what one is soon to do; Synonymous with ‘about’. Ex. I’m finna get some food then chill with my roommates.”

Foo – Adj. Thought to be short for “fool” but research is inconclusive. Ex. “You better watch yo’self foo!” 2. Can describe something dysfunctional, for example Jon and Kate Gosslin’s family matters. 3. Also used to describe something below an acceptable standard of quality or performance. Ex. “The Chicago Cubs are foo.”

G – Adj. Short for gangster or gangsta. Usually put at the end of verbal comments or remarks to add a connotation and a directed title to whomever the speaker is referring to. From my understanding a synonym would be dude.
Anonymous: Wud up G?
Me: Was that even English?

Jai – Adv. A worded version of an exponent; used to drastically enhance the meaning of the word that immediately precedes it. Ex. School has been terrible lately, I’m jai excited for summer.”

Joint – Noun. NO, not drug paraphernalia. But in most cases I’ve seen, joint refers to an object that is about to be described, most likely a song or movie.
Me: Have you heard the new Eminem song?
Anonymous: Yeah dude that joint rock!

Nun (None), Pause, no homo – Noun. Used as an escape word after saying something that could have homosexual meanings when not intending to. In other words ruling out the homosexual context of something said to another man. Ex. I’ve been in the gym all day working on my ball handling, PAUSE!”

O.C. – Adj. Most often used as a verbal acronym with a literal meaning of ‘Out of Control’ [Outta Control]. Ex. Tiger Woods sex addiction was O.C.

On Deck – Phrase meaning what is coming up next. Pretty self-explanatory but you've ever watched a baseball game in your life but figured I should include it.

Salty - Adj. Meaning not very happy. Pissed off. Ex. The teacher gave a pop quiz and you showed up late to class. You're salty.

Tough – Adj. Another word to indicate approval or admiration. Ex. “This iPad is tough!” Synonym with other slang words that mean approval: cool, sweet, tight, sick, awesome, etc.

(The word document I was typing this in had so many red squiggly lines I felt my work had been graded by a 3 year-old.)


  1. You're really funny

  2. Chu is a pronoun.

  3. Finna = "Fixin' to" - it's southern slang.

  4. Chu = you. Cho = your. As someone mentioned, pronouns.

    As someone noted, fin = fixin' = fixing. the -na = to, and is sometimes optional. That is old real old slang for preparing, about, going [to]. Gonna / gon' / [a']gwyne [going to] is a near synonym with maybe more definiteness.

    Foo is definitely a contraction of fool, but may have picked up other connotations from Chinese or Japanese.

    Good stuff.

  5. "Your salty."

    Or "you're," as in: "You're concerned with proper English."

  6. Maybe "foo" could also be short for fubar, a WWII term for things are messed up beyond all recognition, to put it politely.

  7. thanks for the translation. i always wondered what "pause" meant when the illinois players used it on twitter.

    houston 2011! go illini!

  8. the new Eminem song is tough! New words, I got some new one's for my friends! Go

  9. Tyler,
    Thanks to you and this list, I knew what P. Diddy was talking about when he said "Pause" on Letterman the other night. How many other people can claim that?

  10. Well written. Work hard and i would bet the 2011-12 season will bring you great reward.

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