baseball terms

155 Baseball Terms And Slang: A Comprehensive List

baseball terms

Baseball is not just a sport. It’s a language filled with unique baseball terminology. From the strategies on the field to the creative baseball slang for home run shots, these baseball terms offer fans a deeper understanding and appreciation of the game.

If you’re curious about baseball lingo or just want to impress your friends, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will cover baseball hitting terms, funny baseball terms, baseball pitching slang, and more.


Commonly Used Baseball Terms And Slang

Baseball Slang True Fans Should Know:

Dive into baseball slang terms that every dedicated fan ought to be familiar with:

  • Advance the runner – a term describing getting a runner from one base to another. A hitter may lay down a bunt, advancing the runner from first to second base.  
  • Airmail – A term used to describe a wild throw that goes way over the head of the intended target. 
  • Ate him up – If a ball was too difficult for an infielder to handle. This happens when a ball is hit extremely hard and there is no time for the fielder to react. 
  • Backstop – Usually a fence behind homeplate. 
  • Bag – First, second, or third base. 
  • Barehand – When a fielder makes a play on the ball without using their glove
  • Bases loaded – When there is a runner on first, second and third base
  • Basket catch – when a fielder makes (usually an over the should catch where the palm of the glove is facing upwards and usually at waist level. 
  • Blooper – A weak flyball hit just bat the infielder.
  • Bottom of the inning – A term for the home team’s half of the inning. Bottom of the ninth is the home team’s last at bat of the game (unless extra innings).
  • Bush league – While attempting to steal second base, the runner purposely slid with their metal cleats up resulting in an injury to the second baseman. Something like this would be considered bush league.  
  • Cannon – a term relating to arm strength. The right fielder has a cannon so the runner should really think before attempting to score from second on a base hit. 
  • Circus catch – When one of the fielders makes an acrobatic or ridiculous catch that was anything but routine. 
  • Cut-off man – When a ball is hit into the outfield and the runner is attempting to go to the next base, a cutoff man will go out to shorten the throw from the outfield to the infield. 
  • Diamond – The area of a baseball field that is enclosed by the three bases and home plate. 
  • Eat it – It just means to not throw the ball. If a ball gets by the catcher or an infielder bobbles the ball and there is no chance for them to throw the runner out, the coach might say “eat it”.
  • Flashing leather – is a term to describe one of the fielders making a great defesive play with their glove. 
  • Flow – A term to describe a great head of hair. Usually long, flowing hair typically seen with hockey players. 
  • Free baseball – When the game goes into extra innings after the score remains tied. 
  • Get dirty – A coach will sometimes yell this to a player that does not slide during a close play.
  • Giddy up – Derived from the acronym GIDP which stands for “Grounded into a Double Play.”
  • Double play – When the defense gets 2 outs out of the same play. 
  • Have a day – When a player absolutely dominates the game. If someone hits multiple home runs in a game or throws a complete game shutout, people may say, “Have yourself a day.”
  • Hot corner – Refers to third base. There are a ton of right-handed hitters in baseball and they often pull the ball, leave the third-baseman very little time to react.
  • Leather – Refers to your baseball glove
  • Lay out – When a fielder fully extends into a dive to catch or knock down the baseball.
  • Pepper – Pepper is a pre-game activity where someone hits quick grounders to a few team members standing about 20 feet away. The player’s need to field the ball and throw it back in quickly. The hitter attempts to hit the return throw. 
  • Rally cap – A baseball hat that is usually worn inside out or backwards by players are a way to ignite and will the team to score some runs.
  • Range – Bill James developed a statistic to gauge a player’s defensive ability. To calculate this number, divide the total number of defensive chances a player successfully fields by the total number of innings they play in the field.
  • Shag – Fielding fly balls in the outfield in practice or outside of a regular game.  
  • Short porch – A baseball field with a short fence is when the outfield walls are closer to home plate compared to other fields. 
  • Stranded – When a hitter is left on base after the opposing team gets three outs. 
  • Small ball – An offensive strategy where the team is more focused in getting runners on base, moving them along with hit and runs, steals, bunts compared to just trying to hit homeruns.
  • Top of the inning – A term to describe the first half of the inning when the visiting team is hitting. 
  • Tossed – A player or coach will typically get tossed from the game when disrespecting the umpire or arguing balls and strikes. 
  • Web Gem – A spectacular defensive play on the ball. 
  • Yips – A sudden loss of ability that cannot be explained. Like is a second baseman begins having trouble throwing to first base. It’s usually all mental. 
  • 5 Tool Player – When a player has exceptional skills in 5 key areas. Hitting, hitting for power, running, fielding and throwing. 

Baseball Pitching Terms

Understand the baseball pitching slang used by players and commentators, from simple baseball sayings to more niche terms.

  • Ace – Refers to the team’s top pitcher and is usually the first pitcher in the starting rotation.  Teams have been know to have multiple aces on staff.
  • Ahead in the count – The pitcher is ahead in the count if the count has more strikes than balls. A batter is ahead in the count if there are more balls than strikes. 
  • Attack the strike zone – Pitching aggressively by throwing strikes and depending on the defense to make plays in the field. Not trying to trick the hitters and be overly cautious.  
  • Balk – A pitcher commits a balk when attempting to deceive the hitter or runner. This deception might include flinching on the mound after setting, making a deceptive pick-off attempt, or even dropping the ball after setting. Many actions can lead to a balk. If a balk occurs with runners on base, each runner advances one base.
  • Beaned – when a batter is hit by a pitch thrown by a pitcher. 
  • Behind in the count – The pitcher is behind in the count if the count has more balls than strikes. A batter is behind in the count if there are more strikes than balls.
  • Bender – Another term for a curveball
  • Bread and butter – Bread and butter is associated with the player’s most reliable or greatest baseball skill. A slider is this pitcher’s bread and butter pitch. 
  • Brushback – If a hitter is crowding the plate, a pitcher might throw one up and in to brush them back
  • Bump – term referring to the pitcher’s mound. 
  • Bullpen – This is the area where pitchers warm up before they enter the game to relieve the starting pitcher. 
  • Caught looking – When a batter strikes out looking (not swinging) on a called third strike
  • Changeup – Almost every pitcher includes a changeup in their arsenal. This pitch ranks among the slowest, serving to deceive the hitter. If a pitcher consistently throws fastballs and then surprises with a considerably slower changeup, they can catch the hitter off-balance, making the pitch harder to hit.
  • Charging the mound – Sometimes a batter may charge the mound after getting intentionally thrown at or hit by a pitch thrown by the pitcher. Usually, it ends up being a lot of pushing and shoving with very few (if any) puches thrown. Most players need their hands to be successful in baseball so it would be stupid to injure them in a shoving match. 
  • Check the runner – Before coming to their set position, a pitcher checks the runner at their current base. The goal is to prevent the runner from taking too large of a lead, which would make advancing to the next base easier. The pitcher aims to keep the runner at that base.
  • Cheddar – Throwing cheddar just means when a pitcher is throwing really fast. If they are throwing really fast and there is some movement on the ball, the term is throwing cheddar with some hair on it. 
  • Cheerio – This is the term for when an umpire has a tiny strike zone, like the hole in the middle of a cheerio.
  • Chin music – A fastball that come close to hitter the pitcher in the chin. Often used to back a hitter who is getting too comfortable off of the plate. Can also be used in a retaliation scenario. 
  • Clinic – Putting on a clinic means that someone or the team is performing extremely well. Just flawless execution whether it be pitching, hitting or making defensive plays in the field. 
  • Closer – The pitcher who is brought in at the end of the game to get the last three out for the save. 
  • Complete game – When a pitcher starts and pitches the entire game. 
  • Crafty – This terms refers to a pitcher who has a wide variety of pitches and can confidentally use them all in different situations. This can also be a term for a control pitcher who may not throw the hardest but can keep hitter’s off balance and can paint the corners. 
  • Deal – A term for when a pitcher delivers their pitch to the catcher. 
  • Dish – Just means the “pitch”. He’s really dishing it tonight on the mound. 
  • Deuces – When the catcher puts down the signal with two fingers. The term refers to a curveball.
  • Fanned – When a batter strikes out swinging on a thid strike. 
  • Filthy – A term usually reserved for a pitcher with a ridiculous slider. It can be used in other situations at well. The center fielder made a filthy catch. 
  • Four fingered salute – Intentional walk
  • Fresh meat – When a new pitcher comes into the game
  • Full count – When there are three balls and two strikes on the hitter. 
  • Gas – When a pitcher is throwing really hard it can be described as “throwing gas.”
  • Handcuff – When a pitch is thrown inside and it causes the hitter to swing awkwardly with their hands pulled in closer to their body. A ground ball can also handcuff a fielder especially it it takes a bad bounced or it’s a hard line drive leaving little time to react. 
  • Hanger – When a pitcher leaves a breaking ball up in the zone
  • Heater – An impressive fastball that gets up their in MPH. 
  • High and tight – Similar to brushback and chin music, a high an tight fastball will be located high and close to the batter. 
  • Horse – A pitcher who can throw or eat a lot of innings without getting tired. 
  • Immaculate inning – When a pitcher strikes out three batters in a row using the minimum number of pitches (9 Pitches).
  • Knee-buckler – Another term for an impressive curveball. 
  • Merry-go-round – When a pitcher continues to walk batters and they keep advancing to the next base giving a merry-go-round effect. 
  • Meatball – A easy pitch to hit, often thrown right down the middle.
  • Mop up pitcher – A pitcher who comes into the game down but a ton of runs to basically eat innings without wasting a ton of pitchers in what will most likely be a loss. 
  • Mow Em down – A dominant pitching performance where the pitcher allows very few, if any to reach base. You could describe his performance as mowing em down. 
  • No-hitter – When a hitter does not allow a hit for the entirety of the game. It doesn’t necessarily have to be just one pitcher either. You could have a combined no hitter as a team. Even if the pitcher walked a few batter or someone reached on an error, it would still be classified as a no-hitter. 
  • Noodle arm – A weak arm.
  • On the black – When a pitcher catches the very outside corner of either side of the plate, it can be described as “on the black” or “painting the black.”
  • Outing – Refers to an appearance in a game. The pitcher had a short outing since he wasn’t able to locate his fastball. 
  • Paint – Like on the black, a pitcher can “paint” the corners by locating their pitches on each side of the plate. 
  • Perfect game – When a pitcher pitches a complete game without giving up a hit or any walks. 
  • Punchout – A term used to describe a strikeout where the batter was caught looking on a called third strike. 
  • Ring him up – A term for when am umprire calls strike three on a hitter. 
  • Rubber arm – Describes the arm of a pitcher who throws a ton of successful innings without getting tired or injured. 
  • Rubber – Refers to the pitcher’s mound.
  • Southpaw – A term to describe a left-handed pitcher. 
  • Take the hill – Simply means when a pitcher steps on the mound to start the game or inning.
  • Uncle Charlie – A slang term for a curveball that is meant to curve away from the batter as it gets closer.
  • Windup – Any motion associated with the pitcher’s delivery. 
  • 1-2-3 Inning – When a team get three outs while only facing three batters. 

Baseball Terminology For Hitting

From the dugout to the stands, everyone uses special baseball terms and phrases to describe what’s happening on the field. Hitting, in particular, has a lot of cool terms.

Some of these baseball phrases are common, while others might sound like slang for baseball to new fans. For instance, there are different baseball slang words just to describe a hit. And if you’ve ever wondered about the many ways to talk about a home run, there are specific baseball batting terms for that. In the next section, we’ll dive into these terms and more, helping you become fluent in baseball lingo.

  • Base knock – a term used to describe a base hit
  • Base hit – When the batter hits the baseball in fair territory and reaches base safely. 
  • Bat around – When the player that led off the inning bats a second time in the same inning
  • Bat flip – usually done by a batter after a home run to show off. It’s a bit of showboating since it’s not commonplace to flip your bat after a single or double.   
  • Batter’s Box – a chalk lines box on both the left and right side of home plate where the batter stands in for their at bat. 
  • Batting average– divided a player’s total number of hits by his total at bats. 
  • Big fly – term for a homerun
  • Blast – another term for a homerun or a long, solid hit. 
  • Bleeder – a weak groundball that somehow results in a hit
  • Bomb – term for a homerun
  • BP – Batting practice
  • Bunt – When a hitter squares their body around a gently hits a pitch so that is lands close to home plate or in between the pitcher and catcher. Bunting is typically done to advance a runner to while potentially giving up an out or to catch the fielders off-guard. 
  • Cage bomb – A hit during batting practice in the cage that would’ve most likely been a home run on a regular field. 
  • Can of corn – considered to be a gauranteed out, a “can of corn” is a routine and easy fly ball to the outfield. 
  • Check swing – When a hitter holds their swing from going around whole way. They begin their swing but don’t complete it.
  • Choke up – When the batter moves his hands slightly up so they aren’t positioned against the knob of the bat. If the bat is too big for a hitter, they are often told to choke up. 
  • Cleanup batter – Usually one of the team’s power hitters and bats fourth in the lineup. 
  • Comebacker – A term to describe a baseball that is hit directly back to the pitcher.
  • Count – The amount of balls and strikes a hitter has on them during an at bat. 
  • Cycle – Baseball Term for when a hitter hits a single, double, triple and home run all in the same game. 
  • Daddy hack – When someone swings so hard that they miss and fall on the ground. 
  • Designated hitter – Power hitter that isn’t the strongest defensively in the field but too good at hitting to leave his bat out of the lineup.
  • DingerBaseball slang for a homerun
  • Ducks on the pond – Refers to when runner are on base, typically said when the bases are loaded. 
  • Frozen rope – A really hard-hit line drive that is straight and like a rope that is frozen in the air. 
  • Gap – When hit finds the space between the outfielders.
  • Get out – When someone hits a long fly ball, many will yell “get out” as a way to encourage the ball to go over the fence. 
  • Going yard – slang for homerun. 
  • Grab some pine – When someone on the other team strikes out, the opposing team will sometimes tell them to grap some pine (sit on the bench). 
  • Grand slam – A homerun while the bases are loaded, bringing in four runs. 
  • Green light – When a coach gives the okay to the batter to swing at any good pitch that they see. Sometimes they will even give this on a 3-0 count.
  • Hack – A big swing at a pitch
  • Heart of the lineup – 3,4,5 hitters in the lineup
  • Hit and run – Attempts to advance the runner two bases through a stolen base. The hitter must make contact, otherwise the runner risks an easy out. Typically executed with a runner at first, it exploits the second baseman’s move to cover the steal.
  • Jack – Baseball slang for home run.
  • Knock – A basehit is also referred to as a base knock. 
  • Lace – Term to describe hitting the baseball hard. He “laced” one to left field. 
  • Laser show – An offensive explosion and a game full of hard hit line drives.
  • Leg it out – To run extremely hard to get on base. You will often hear an announcer say that he “legged out that infield hit” or he “legged out a double”. 
  • Lumber – Slang for a baseball bat made of wood. 
  • Masher – Also referred to as a slugger, a masher is someone who destroys the baseball and hits a lot of homeruns. 
  • Moonshot – A mammoth home run 
  • Poke –  A poke is simply a hit, extra-base hit or a homerun. 
  • Rake – When you are raking the ball you are hitting it hard and hitting it really well all over the ballpark. 
  • Ribbie – A nickname for an RBI.
  • Salami – Term for a grand slam.
  • Slugger – A strong hitter who often gets extra base hits and homeruns. 
  • Slump – When a hitter goes through an extended period of at bats without a hit.
  • Smoked – A balls that is hit really hard can be described as being smoked. 
  • Snow cone – When a defensive player barely catches the ball at the very top of their glove, resembling the shape of a snow cone. 
  • Solo shot – When a hitter hits a homerun without runners on base. 
  • Spray hitter – When a hitter takes what the pitcher gives him and hits the ball to all parts of the field. 
  • Tater – Term for a homerun. 
  • Tattoo – When a hitter hits the ball so hard, they are said to “tattoo” the baseball.
  • Tee off – When a weak pitcher is on the mound throwing very hittable pitches, hitters will most likely tee off on the pitches. 
  • Warning Track Power – A hitter that has some power but not enough to drive the ball out of the ballpark.
  • Whammy – A term for a homerun. 
  • Wheels – A player’s speed. That guy has got a set of wheels. 
  • Whiff – When a batter swings and misses a pitch. 
  • Yabo – Baseball lingo for when a player hits a homerun. 
  • Yahtzee – When a baseball player has five appearances and has the same result each time. Like if a hitter had five at bats and hit five singles. It can also just mean a homerun. 

Funny Baseball Terms

Ever watch a baseball game and heard some wacky terms thrown around? Baseball’s got its own language, and some of these baseball slang terms are downright funny. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or new to the sport, these funny baseball terms are sure to bring a smile to your face:

  • Baltimore Chop: A ball hit forcefully into the ground near home plate, causing it to bounce high in the air.
  • Banjo Hitter: A player who lacks power and seems to “pluck” the ball like a banjo.
  • Duck Snort: A softly hit ball that goes over the infielders and lands safely for a hit.
  • Dying Quail: A ball that drops quickly just over the infielders.
  • Eephus: A slow, high-arcing pitch that can catch a batter off guard.
  • Golden Sombrero: A player who strikes out four times in one game.
  • Gopher Ball: A pitch that’s hit for a home run, as in “go for” the fences.
  • Mendoza Line: A batting average of .200, named after Mario Mendoza.
  • Pickle: A rundown where a runner is caught between two bases.
  • Rhubarb: An old term for a fight or scuffle on the field.

Final Thoughts On Baseball Terminology Slang

Baseball is not just a sport. It’s a passion that millions around the world cherish. With its rich history, this game has given birth to unique baseball phrases and terminology that have evolved into a language all its own. From commonly known terms like “home run” and “strikeout” to more niche baseball slang terms like “can of corn” and “golden sombrero,” diving into the baseball lingo is crucial for every true fan. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran familiar with all of the different baseball phrases or a newcomer eager to decode the baseball jargon, this comprehensive list of 155 baseball terms and slang is your ultimate guide to better appreciate and immerse yourself in this fun game.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does yabo mean in baseball?

“Yabo” is a slang term for a home run. When a player hits a ball out of the park, some fans might say he hit a “yabo.”

What does gidp mean in baseball?

“GIDP” stands for “Ground Into Double Play.” It’s when a batter hits a ground ball that leads to two outs on one play.

What does eat it mean in baseball?

“A fielder “eats it” when they decide not to throw the ball, typically because there’s no play.” Instead, they’ll hold onto it to prevent potential errors or further advancement of runners. You hear this a lot in Little League after passed balls.

What do you call a good hit in baseball?

In baseball, players and fans refer to a good hit as a “base hit,” “base knock,” or “line drive.” If the hit is especially powerful, they call it a “blast” or “moonshot.”

What does shoving mean in baseball?

This seems to be a new term. In baseball, “shoving” refers to a pitcher performing exceptionally well, typically by striking out batters or preventing them from getting hits. A pitcher putting their all into their outing. It can also refer to what happens after a batter charges the mound. Benches empty and there is lots of shoving going on.

What does going yard mean in baseball?

“Going yard” is baseball slang for homerun. When a batter hits one out of the park, they “go yard.”

Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.
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