Ever read a book that mentions another book, so you then read that book too? This happened to me recently while reading Slam by Nick Hornby. In the book it mentions the autobiography of Tony Hawk. Not the British guy, the professional skateboarder. Tony is one of my heroes, so I immediately bought it too.
Now we all know that pro sportsmen are not particularly renowned for their writing prowess but I found this to be a good read. In particular I enjoyed the fact that he added so much skating lingo that the book required a glossary at the back. Looking over the list of words that appear there, you can see that many of the terms actually have been derived from the innovator of a particular move or trick.
For example, a Caballerial is a 360-degree turn while riding fakie. This move was named after Steve Caballero, who invented the trick in the early 1980s. The term combines his name with the word aerial, as the move takes place in the air. Incidentally, fakie means riding backwards to the way you would normally ride.
Another is the McTwist. This is a manoeuvre that sees a skater launching into the air and twisting through 540 degrees. The move was perfected by Mike McGill.
There are loads of other cool terms included in Tony’s book but the main thing it made me think about is how many English ‘words’ are actually formed from someone’s name. There are ‘-isms’ that lead to ‘-ites’ and ‘-ists’ perhaps most notably in the field of politics. Marxist, Trotskyite, Maoist – the list is long.
Personally, the only label I’m keen to be associated with is goofy-footed. Look it up!Email this Post