phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Drop five and punt

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on January 20, 2006

In Reply to: Drop five and punt posted by Cara on January 20, 2006

: Does anyone know the origin of the gridirons phrase "drop five and punt"?
: Thanks.

In American football, when you're on offense you get 4 plays, or downs, to advance the ball at least 10 yards. Once you advance the ball ten yards, you get another 4 plays. If after 3 plays you don't think you can make it to 10 on the next play, you can "drop (back) 5 (yards) and punt" the ball to the other team, pushing them farther back toward their own goal and making it harder for them to score and giving your team a better chance. If you don't punt and you fail to advance the ball far enough on your next play, you give the ball to the other team in a relatively easy position to score.

Having said that, many sports-related phrases are heard in everyday life. In business if you punt, you may be cutting your losses by pulling the plug on a project that seems destined to fail.