"... he can go back, go massive, or go yard."

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Nov 7 15:14:40 UTC 2005

>On Sun, 6 Nov 2005 18:59:02 -0500, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>Okay, but what do "go back" and "go massive" mean?
>Same as "go yard", according to that St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. I've
>never heard either of these used on ESPN et al., so I guess they didn't
>catch on.

"go back" predictably failed, given the homonymy with the more
established and more motivated "go back" for the outfielder pursuing
the ball.  Chris Berman, on ESPN SportsCenter, popularized "back back
back back...." a while back in covering the highlights, and I suppose
that could apply to the ball or the outfielder but more likely the
former; "X went back in the third", as opposed to "X went yard in the
third" would be understood as referring to X as the outfielder, not
the hitter.


>I believe all of these "go ADV" expressions for hitting a home run are
>modeled on "go deep". The OED draft entries cover the baseball sense of
>"deep", though the only cite given for "go deep" is Dickson (1989).
>deep, adv.
>Sport. In or to a point relatively distant from the originating point of
>play, in reference to the (expected) direction of play and to the
>(expected) usual point; spec.: (a) Cricket and Baseball. In a place
>farther from the batsman or batter than is usual or expected (esp. used of
>a player in a particular position); spec. (Baseball) of an infielder: in a
>position in the outfield just beyond the infield; (of an outfielder) in a
>position relatively close to the fence; (of the ball) to a point
>relatively close to the fence.
>1849 W. LILLYWHITE Young Cricketer's Guide 21 This fieldsman must stand
>deeper. 1857 T. HUGHES Tom Brown's School Days II. viii. 388 The
>batter..cuts it beautifully to where cover-point is standing very deep, in
>fact almost off the ground. 1891 W. G. GRACE Cricket x. 265 Mid-on..is
>placed close in or deep according to the wish of the bowler. 1900 G.
>PATTEN Rockspur Nine xx. 178 John Smith had been playing ‘deep’. Almost
>instantly he saw that the ball was soaring on its way to pass over the
>fence, yet he whirled and ran toward that fence as hard as he could. 1989
>P. DICKSON Baseball Dict. 125/2 Both infielders and outfielders may play
>deep, while the batter may hope to hit the ball deep or ‘go deep’. 1989
>Newsday 14 Aug. 93/3 Teufer, who was playing deep at second base, charged
>the bouncing ball and had to decide in a instant whether to glove it. 2002
>Penrith (Australia) Press (Nexis) 11 Oct., Another time I was fielding
>deep when the wicketkeeper ran to get the ball but he did not let me know
>he was there and we collided.
>--Ben Zimmer

More information about the Ads-l mailing list