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Meaning of the phrase

Posted by James Briggs on October 23, 2001

In Reply to: Meaning of the phrase posted by Bob on October 23, 2001

: : Hi
: : I would like to know the meaning of the phrase"Slam Dunk"/ I have come across this several times. Thanks

: The phrase comes from basketball, when a player rises up above the rim and forcefully puts the ball through the hoop so there is little or no chance for a defender to prevent it. (Originally, a "dunk" was the act of putting the ball directly in the hoop. A "slam dunk" was the powerful version of same.) Thus, by extension, a "slam dunk" is a metaphor that means a certain success, an unstoppable action.

To 'dunk' in the UK is a very old expression, almost certainly more than 100 years, used to describe the act of dipping a biscuit or piece of cake into a cup of tea in order to make it soft - don't ask me why some people wish to do this! The anology with basketball is clear.

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