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Learn English: Australian footy slang explained

An AFL player
An AFL player in action.

Supplied: Port Adelaide Football Club

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the professional league of Aussie rules ‘footy’, a game that is unique to Australia. The sport has been played for over a hundred years and with the AFL Grand Final coming up, here's a look at some AFL slang.

Shirtfront

'Shirtfront' received a lot of attention after it was used by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott who said he would "shirtfront" Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014.

According to the Oxford Australian Dictionary, a 'shirtfront' is a noun which can refer to 'a fierce tackle, usually delivered by the shoulder to the chest of an opponent'. It can also be used a verb which can refer to 'the act of delivering such a tackle'.

In Mr Abbott's case, 'shirtfront' is used as a verb which can mean to confront someone else over an issue.

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Behind, Mark

Scoring is very important in any game and in AFL, players score with goals and points.

A point can also be called a 'behind'.

When the player catches a ball, it's called a 'mark' or you can say: he's marked it which means 'caught' it. If a player takes a mark, they get a free kick.

A 'speccie' or 'screamer'
A 'speccie' or 'screamer'.

Supplied: Port Adelaide Football Club

Speccie, screamer and frequent flyer

A 'speccie' or 'screamer' refers to a spectacular mark.

A player who takes lots of speccies is a 'frequent flyer'.

So you can say "he took a huge speccie, but only kicked a behind."

If someone takes a big mark, you can say "what a speccie!" or "what a screamer!"

Made a hash of it, mongrel punt

If you say someone has 'made a hash of it', it means a player has made a mistake such as missing a goal or kicking to an opposition player.

A bad kick is sometimes known as a 'mongrel punt'.

Barracking

We certainly can't forget any fans when it comes to the game. When the fans cheer, it's called 'barracking'.

If you want to find out who somebody follows, you can ask them "who do you barrack for?"

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