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dumb Brit question - what's a slam dunk?


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#1 of 28 andrew markworthy

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:09 AM

I *think* I know the answer to this, but it's not in my dictionaries of idioms nor on a lot of the web pages I tried.

I know that a slam dunk is a spectacular basketball shot where the player jumps and drops/throws the ball down the hoop. However, from programmes (sorry 'programs') like Friends I also get the impression it means something else. My reading is that it means 'unambiguous'. However, am I wide of the mark?

#2 of 28 Mark Pfeiffer

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:14 AM

I think you're pretty close. A slam dunk is when a basketball player jumps up and throws (dunks) the ball through the hoop. A "slam dunk" outside of a basketball context is something which is a certainty, a guarantee, a no doubter. A dunk, or slam dunk, is the highest percentage shot in basketball. Hope that helps.
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#3 of 28 Matt Gordon

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:16 AM

You are exactly right in basketball terms.

Also, it is American slang for an easy task. For example, I might say that winning a game of checkers on the beginner level is a "slam dunk."


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#4 of 28 Michael Reuben

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:17 AM

No, you're not wide. An appropriate synonym might be "a sure thing" -- the theory being that, if a player is in a position literally to drop the ball into the basket, there's no doubt that it will go in.

EDIT: I agree with Matt, though, that the term has acquired a connotation of a task that's easy (like a "no brainer"). Ironic when you consider the basketball move that inspired it.

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#5 of 28 Richard Kim

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:22 AM

Quote:
No, you're not wide. An appropriate synonym might be "a sure thing" -- the theory being that, if a player is in a position literally to drop the ball into the basket, there's no doubt that it will go in.

Yeah, slam dunk is slang for "a sure thing", but once in a while, players fail to drop the ball into the basket when dunking (bouncing it off the rim), and it's pretty hilarious when it happens. Posted Image

#6 of 28 Cam S

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:34 AM

"Slam Dunk" is also used in Golf, and is where the ball gets in the cup straight from the air without hitting the ground first. Hard to do though!
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#7 of 28 Vince Maskeeper

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:57 AM

I've also heard it used similar to "Home Run" - as in a success. Like to say the meeting was a "Slam Dunk"- meaning it was very successful.

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#8 of 28 Mitty

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Posted March 19 2003 - 09:06 AM

Quote:
Ironic when you consider the basketball move that inspired it.

Whaddya mean? Dunking a basketball is a piece of cake...provided you're, say, 6'3" or taller and can palm a basketball.

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#9 of 28 MarkHastings

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Posted March 19 2003 - 09:56 AM

Quote:
"Slam Dunk" is also used in Golf, and is where the ball gets in the cup straight from the air without hitting the ground first.
It's funny how they use that basketball term because the same phenomenon in basketball would be a "Swoosh".

Wouldn't you also say a "Slam Dunk" can be compared to a task that was done extremely well? Not that it was 'easy', but more of the fact that you executed it so well.

A slam dunk is no different than a lay up or just shooting the ball into the basket (with the exception of a 3 pointer), but a Slam Dunk is a more furious way of accomplishing the same 2 points, so that's why I think they use it as an expression of someone who accomplishes something in an extreme way.

#10 of 28 Patrick Sun

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Posted March 19 2003 - 10:29 AM

Or "a done deal".
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#11 of 28 Greg*go

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Posted March 19 2003 - 02:42 PM

It can also mean that something is done with authority...

If you want to embarrass someone while playing them in basketball, then you dunk on them. Trust me on that one. I've been dunked on too many times. :b
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#12 of 28 andrew markworthy

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Posted March 19 2003 - 05:54 PM

Thanks for the info. guys.

#13 of 28 Ryan Peter

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Posted March 19 2003 - 08:01 PM

For me, more a done deal than something that's easy, or something that was very successful.

Quote:
"Slam Dunk" is also used in Golf, and is where the ball gets in the cup straight from the air without hitting the ground first.

I've played golf for more than 7 years and I've never heard that used like that. "Flying the cup" is what I've heard.
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#14 of 28 Mark Pfeiffer

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Posted March 20 2003 - 09:52 AM

Just thought it was ironic, all this talk of the ease of slam dunks, and in today's Gonzaga-Cincinnati NCAA game, the Zags missed two dunks at critical points. (I'm pretty sure both were in this game, but the games start to run together.)
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#15 of 28 Ted Lee

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Posted March 20 2003 - 10:22 AM

andrew -

i have a reverse angle question for you.

it seems in a lot of foreign movies (set in england or europe in general) use the following word quite often.

c**t (rhymes with punt)

here, it seems to have a pretty negative connotation and you won't often find it used - at least not in the circles i hang out in. Posted Image

anyway, is this just a movie thing or does the word really have a less "aggressive" connotation over there.

oh yeah. please forgive me if this is stupid question.

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#16 of 28 John Thomas

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Posted March 20 2003 - 11:25 AM

Now, someone explain to me what a Badooka dunk is.

While you;re at it, what is "Ba-donka-donk-donk" and can you can handle it> Posted Image


#17 of 28 andrew markworthy

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Posted March 20 2003 - 06:16 PM

Ted, no, the word is just as offensive in the UK. It tends to be used for its shock value in some types of movies.

#18 of 28 Cees Alons

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Posted March 20 2003 - 10:37 PM

That's a very ancient word. It actually exists in my language too, but with a (slightly) different meaning (kont = "@ss", "behind", both male and female). It is not considered a good word, but not offensive as in the British use Andrew refers to. It can almost be used in civilized language (although still rather rude) in case of a ship or a horse, or as in "oh my, what an enormous...". Also more or less allowable in its diminutive form (in Dutch, like in German, most words have a diminutive of their own, in this case kontje) as in "pretty ...!" (lekker kontje!): again, both of males and females. More or less like the popular "tight @ss" in the US.

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#19 of 28 Ted Lee

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Posted March 21 2003 - 03:17 AM

note to self: don't use it when visiting andrew...think carefully before using it around cees. Posted Image
 

#20 of 28 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted March 21 2003 - 08:10 AM

A slim customer...ahh very good. Now we are talking turkey, are we not? :P)
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