More American Football Jargon

'Excuse me, coach - but are we the hugs or the kisses?'

  • Ave María – A Hail Mary pass is a very long forward pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half.
  • Bloqueador – Blocker
  • Bolsa – The quaterback’s protective pocket
  • Bomba – A long pass
  • Castigo por ser muy rudo – Unnecessary roughness
  • Dos minutos por jugar – Two minutes to play or the two minute warning at the end of each half of the game
  • Jugador completo – An all-around football player
  • Máximo avance – The forward progress of a play
  • Ponerse cara de inocente – To try and look innocent after committing an infraction
  • Ranura – The slot where a receiver lines upç
  • Regreso de patada – Kick off return
  • Romper el plano imaginario – Beak the imaginary goal line plane when scoring a touchdown
  • Ruta cruzada – A crossing route run by a receiver
  • Sacar de ritmo – Disrupt a team’s timing
  • Tacleador – tackler
  • Tres y fuera – Three and out is used when a team fails to gain a first down in three attempts.

More American Football Terms in Spanish

A few years ago I compiled a long list of American football vocabulary in Spanish for those who have to watch the games in Spanish.  Just do a search and the article will appear.
totti american football
While watching a game yesterday I came up with a whole new list of terms which I will share with you.
  • Balón suelto – fumble
  • Casco – helmet
  • Castigo – penaltly
  • Cuatro para afuera – four downs and out
  • Darle vuelta al partido – to turn around a game
  • Defensa or defensiva – defense
  • Dos puntos – a safety
  • Estar abajo – to be losing or down in the game
  • Estar arriba – to be winning or on top
  • Estar con la espalda contra la pared – to have one’s back against the wall  or be pinned down near the goal line.
  • Exprimir or odeñar el reloj – to milk the clock
  • Fuera de posición – off sides
  • Formación escopeta – shot gun formation
  • Hombrera – shoulder pad
  • Jugada de pizarrón – a picture perfect play
  • Jugada engaño – a track play
  • Pantalla – screen pass
  • La pausa de los dos minutos – two minute warning
  • El máximo avance – forward progress on a running play
  • Partido apretado or cerrado – a tight or close game
  • Pase bala – bullet pass
  • Pase completo – completed pass
  • Pase corto – short pass
  • Pase de anotación – scoring pass
  • Pase incompleto – incomplete pass
  • Pase largo – long pass
  • Ponerse arriba – to go ahead or take the lead in the game
  • Por aire – through the air (passing)
  • Por tierra – on the ground (running the ball)
  • Postemporada – post season
  • Pretemporada – preseason
  • Ofensiva – offense
  • Partido de infarto – a nail biter
  • Partidazo – a great game
  • Sujetando – holding
  • Tiempo fuera – time out
  • Tocando a la puerta – to be knocking at the door or in position to score

To get off on the wrong foot

  • Cada quien jala para su saco – people look out for their own interests
  • El Buenpa – short for Buen Pastor which is a local jail for woman.
  • Empezar con la zurda – to start off  on the wrong foot
  • Echarle el pico a alguien – to squeal  or tell on someone
  • Estar pa el tigre – to be I bad shape
  • Gato negro – a jinx or bad luck. It literally means a black cat.
  • Jalar el mecate – to be strict
  • Joyita or angelito – a criminal. Caco is also used
  • Pegarse un ride – to take a spin or drive
  • La Peni – prision
  • Pochotón- a healthy or strong person
  • Puris – short for the mountain town of Puriscal
  • Recetarle leñazos – to beat someone


  • Venderse a alguien – to sell out to someone. Vender el alma al diablo (sell your soul to the devil) is the same thing.

A Big Blow

  • Apagafuegos – fireman. Bombero is the correct word.
  • Arrear – to hit or punish
  • Cada quien jala para su saco – people look out for their interests
  • Choco bola or pepino – other names for a soccer ball.
  • Echar al pico – is to tell or squeal on someone. Delatar or echar al agua are also used.
  • Empezar con la zurda – to start off on the wrong foot
  • Estar en baño María – to be sweating  or worried about something.
  • Gato negro – a black cat or something that brings bad luck
  • Maricucha – is marijuana. Mecha, yierba, mota and monte are also slang for marijuana.
  • Ponerle la firma – you can count on something to happen
  • pulseándola – means to work hard
  • Puris – short for the mountain town of Puriscal
  • No jalar mucho el rabo a la ternera – Don’t bother someone or you’ll pay the consequences.
  • Riendazo – any type of a big blow or collision
  • Trompazo – is a head-on collision. Choque frontal is also used.


Your gear shift box

  • Batir barro – is to take a 4-wheel vehicle off road in muddy conditions. Batir barro literally means to beat or stir mud like you would beat an egg or cake batter.
  • Cachete – is a cheek but can also refer to a buttocks.
  • Como pulpería del pueblo – to be well-stocked like a mom and pop corner store. This phrase also refers to a woman with outstanding physical attributes.
  • Cuatro Plumas – slang for the Cacique brand of guaro which is type of local liquor made from sugarcane. Cuatro Plumas literally means four feathers and refers to the indian’s headdress on the label of a bottle of Cacique.
  • Doc – short for doctor just as in English
  • Echarse un tamarindo – to drink an alcoholic beverage
  • Gato casero – someone who performs an inside job (robbery)
  • Hospi – short for hospital
  • La caja de cambios – literally means the gear shit box of a vehicle but in Costa Rican it is slang your lungs
  • Lágrima – a tear but it can also be a rock or boulder.
  • Llorar a moco tendido – is to cry inconsolably
  • Puñal – is a knife but is also used to describe a person who is a backstabber.
  • Recetar – is to prescribe medicine but it can also mean to deal drugs or sentence someone to period in jail

cacique guaro cuatro plumas