Word of the Week (241): SLURVE (*new CSW15*) (probability 10342), by David Sutton

SLURVE is one of several words new to CSW15 that come to us courtesy of the sport of baseball: it refers to a type of pitch, pitch in this sense referring to the way you chuck the ball at the guy with the bat rather than the surface you are playing on.

I am afraid that baseball, like American football, is rather a closed book to most Brits, who think of it, if they think of it at all, as an offshoot of rounders, which in Britain is a girly sport. Be that as it may, it does come with a lot of specialist vocabulary. Other baseball words new to CSW15 are RIBBIE, a run batted in (whatever that means), SQUIBBER, an infield grounder that becomes a base hit (ditto), PALMBALL, a baseball pitched from the palm and thumb, FORCEOUT and POPOUT, which are types of out, and BLOOPY, which refers to a hit that is a short fly ball. No, I have no idea what a short fly ball is, but I do know that it can be BLOOPIER or even BLOOPIEST.

And finally a couple of words that were previously nounal only but have now become verbs: SPITBALL now gives SPITBALLED and SPITBALLING - it means to make a pitch with a ball that has been altered by the application of saliva, petroleum jelly, or some other foreign substance (as we used to say, that's not cricket, old chap, or these days perhaps it is) and FUNGO, to toss a ball upwards and hit it as it descends, now yields FUNGOS, FUNGOED and FUNGOING whereas previously it was only FUNGOES.


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