Tennis Vernacular

By Jane Voigt

Daniel Island, S.C., April 4, 2018 — Every sport has them. Code words that make you out as an insider. Tennis has them, too. Here’s a short list. Got more? Send them to [email protected] Or, add them to comments at the bottom of the page.

What Tennis Neophytes Say             What Tennis Insiders Say

Racquet                                                         Stick

Racquet head or head                                Hoop

Blend of strings                                           Poly on the crosses, gut on the mains

Top Spin                                                        Top

Slice                                                                Underspin

Red clay or green clay                               Dirt

Clay-court expert                                        Dirt-baller 

Grip size: 4 2/8”, 4 3/8”, 4 4/8”              2, 3, 4

Center of the racquet                                  Sweet Spot

Drop shot                                                      Dropper

Sneakers                                                        Tennis Shoes

Up the line                                                    Down The Tee                                           




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