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February 19, 2004

Slang of the Week: diaper dandy (noun phrase)
A college freshman basketball star

Turner wasn’t a diaper dandy, but he was on the All-Avis Team.

Celebrity quote:
“If you want to know about a talented diaper dandy at guard, just call Rutgers coach Gary Waters. He saw quite a performance from Notre Dame's Chris Thomas. Thomas scored 32 points, hitting 7-of-9 trifectas, and dished out 11 assists against the Scarlet Knights.”
-Sports commentator Dick Vitale of ESPN

Vitale doesn’t just use that expression – he invented it. After working for many years as a coach, he got a job announcing college basketball games for ESPN in 1979. The king of colorful sports language, Vitale has created many terms that are now well-known to B-ball (basketball) fans.

For example, he calls large players human space ships, for obvious reasons. An unpredictable player is called a Dow-Joneser in Vitale-speak, because his performance goes up and down, like the stock market. A good jumper is a Skywalker (like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars) and an impressive slam dunk is a dipsy-doo dunk-a-roo.

He also has many complimentary and insulting names for the teams themselves. A team with great players in every position is an All-Rolls Royce Team. The All Avis Team is the team that tries harder, like the slogan of the Avis rental car company.

What’s new at Slang City?
With all the news about gay marriage this week, we thought we’d add a Real English section on words about sexual orientation. Click here for real life examples of vocabulary from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.