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Pickleball Slang Terms You Should Know

by Adam Forziati on

Pickleball is still a (relatively) new phenomenon, and as such, it has plenty of opportunity to expand its lexicon.

Pickleball slang terms have popped up left and right: "getting pickled," "golden pickle," "body bag"... these are but a few of the most common terms popular in the community now.

We just had to share a few of them here. Enjoy!

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Pickleball Terminology

Here are some terms that are widely used are either widely-used in pickleball:


The kitchen (aka Non-Volley Zone) is the two front rectangular boxes that enclose the net; you're not allowed to step into the kitchen unless the ball bounces in it first.


To softly hit a ball from near the kitchen/kitchen line into your opponent's kitchen, attempting to hit an unattackable, short drop.

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Body bag:

The body bag is a shot that successfully targets your opponent's body; a body shot.


Refers to a doubles strategy where players line up on one side of the court before the serve and then move into their preferred side of the court once the point begins, theoretically lending them an advantage in court position. This is often adopted when playing with left-handed players so their forehand can stay in the middle of the court.


A doubles play where the third shot is driven towards the middle of the court and the other player in the serving team rushes the net hoping for a high ball leading to a quick putaway.

Getting pickled:

Getting pickled is when you lose the game with zero points.

Golden Pickle:

A golden pickle is when you beat a team 11-0 without losing the serve of the starting server (aka 11-0-start).


A tweener is when you hit a ball through your legs. This often happens when you are forced to turn around to chase a lob and don't have time to turn back around to face the net.

Nutmeg or 5-hole:

Hitting a ball that goes through your opponent's legs.

Nasty Nelson:

A Nasty Nelson is when the server intentionally hits the non-receiving opposite player with the ball instead of serving to the intended target (striking that player earns the serving team a point).

Fly Swatter:

Hitting a ball down into the net when trying to slam a high ball.

Let Ace, or Lettuced:

When your serve hits the top of the net, still lands in, and the returner doesn’t get the paddle on the ball, that’s a let ace; they’ve been “lettuced.”


Jumping over your corner of the kitchen into the legal standing spot outside of the court while hitting an offense shot downward in midair.


The same as an erne, but conducted on your partner's side of the court.

ATP (Around the Post):

As the name implies, this is when you hit a low return around the net's post.


The scorpion is where a player enters a deep squat to attack a chest-high ball with an overhead. This is useful if you know a player is going to speed the ball up at your body.

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Adam Forziati

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