One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Used to encourage or draw attention to the performance of some physical, especially acrobatic, feat.
A high pass caught by a leaping teammate who tries to dunk the ball before landing.
- ‘Team USA threw a couple of balls away with ill-conceived alley-oops, missed a few wide-open jumpers and blew a couple of defensive assignments.’
- ‘Her new abilities allow her to play basketball like nobody's business, complete with slam dunks and alley-oops off concrete urban walls.’
- ‘While airborne, you can attempt to pull off additional tricks and even pass the ball back to your teammates, who will jump towards the basket as well for potential alley-oops.’
- ‘Sadly, the only time I really enjoyed the game experience was when I teamed up with my son to see how many sweet dunks and alley-oops we could pull off.’
- ‘He can run the court, score on low-post moves, soar for alley-oops and rebound jams, block shots, defend and make plays.’
Early 20th century: perhaps from French allez! ‘go on!’ + a supposedly French pronunciation of up.
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