Trash talk

(Redirected from Trash-talk)

Trash talk is a form of spoken insult usually found in sports events, although it is not exclusive to sports or similarly characterized events.[1][2] It is often used to intimidate the opposition and/or make them less confident in their abilities to win easier, but it can also be used in a humorous spirit. Trash-talk is often characterized by the use of hyperbole or figurative language, such as "Your team can't run! You run like honey on ice!" Puns and other wordplay are commonly used.

CM Punk in professional wrestling engaging in trash talk

Trash-talk has become a debatable term, especially in North American sports, with the greatest trash talkers being acknowledged for both their trash-talking skills as well as their athletic and mental abilities.[3]



In sports, trash-talk most commonly comes in the form of insults to an opposing player's playing ability or physical appearance which is ethically not acceptable.[4] The intended effects of trash-talk are to create rivalry between the players and increase the psychological pressure of opposing players to perform well or to stop the trash-talker from performing well.[5] Trash-talk was most famously used by heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali in the 1960s and 70s.

In 1963, Ali even released a popular full-length record album consisting largely of trash-talk poetry. It was entitled I Am the Greatest!, a phrase that became his signature line. Since then, it has become common for boxers, wrestlers, and many other sports competitors to use trash-talk.[6] However, in amateur sports ranks, trash-talking is generally frowned upon as unsportsmanlike conduct (especially in youth leagues). Former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor is an example of a prominent trash-talker, he is considered to be the greatest trash-talker in MMA history.[7][8][9] Former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen is also considered by many to be one of the greatest trash-talkers MMA has ever had.[7][8][9] Although the practice of trying to distract opponents with verbal abuse is common to virtually all sports, other sports sometimes have their terminology for verbal abuse: for example, cricket calls it sledging and in ice hockey, it is called chirping.

The quality of performance of players under the pressure of trash-talk is debated, but one study found that participants who were subject to a trash-talk message exerted more effort in completing their task and perceived their opponent with more incivility and rivalry when compared to participants who were subject to a neutral, irrelevant, or no message at all.[5]

While trash-talking frequently focuses on sporting attributes such as physical ability and athleticism, there is also significant trash-talking off-topic including opponent's sexual behavior and relationships. Trash-talk is more prevalent in contact sports than non-contact sports, and it is also more prevalent between male competitors than female competitors.[10]



Smack talk


Smack talk is a slang term seen in chat channels in chat room, blog, and massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) conversations.[11] The term came about in the early 1990s. It generally refers to the use of threatening or intentionally inflammatory language. Smack talk can also be used with bullying, whether that be face-to-face interaction, or cyber-bullying.

Smack talk is also a slang term used in sports. It refers to inflammatory comments made by a person or team in order to insult, anger, annoy or be boisterous toward their opponents.[12] Although it began as a term used by sports fans and athletes, it has spread to all areas of culture where competition takes place. In the United States, it is synonymous with "trash talk".

The social interaction within MMOGs has been observed to be quite active and often leads to long-term social relationships.[13] MMOG groups, such as "teams", "guilds" or "corporations", are composed of groups of people who often initially have no other social contact or interactions with each other.[14] As a result, their conversations contain a subtext of the discovery of language skills, social values, and intentions. One of the first indicators of these is the use or offense taken by the usage of smack talk. To set a social context or to comply with MMOG end user license agreement[15] restrictions, MMOG groups may establish bylaws, traditions, or rules (formal or informal) that either permit, discourage, or prohibit the use of smack talk in their conversations and postings.

Talking shit


Talking shit is a term and type of trash-talk that refers to various types of derogatory language aimed at an individual or any type of entity, such as a group or organisation.[16] Talking shit can be used as a tactic in fighting or brawling, used to draw attention to the matter among onlookers.[17] This is a term that has been coined more recently and is used in reference when someone talks negatively about another person, concept, organisation, or entity. This may or may not include spreading false ideas. The same term can also be used to describe something spoken which is not true, uninteresting or irrelevant. It may be a contraction of Talking Bullshit.

It is not to be confused with shitposting, which is when someone posts "content aggressively, ironically, and trollishly poor quality"[18] to an online forum.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26]



The ethics of using trash-talk as a strategy is debated. In sports, trash talking is often seen as unsportsmanlike, as throwing insults at opposing players goes beyond the limits and conventions of the game. Some argue, on the other hand, that trash talking can be used as a valid strategy to increase tension in opponents and thus benefit from opponents' poor performance, since any action not explicitly banned in the rules is permitted.[27]


Given the rapid increase in the popularity of the phrase, its appearance in popular media and culture is extensive. One of the earliest references can be found in Dobie Gray's hit song from 1965, "The 'In' Crowd," in which the third verse describes members "spendin' cash, talkin' trash" as part of the depiction of a desirable group membership. Uses have become ubiquitous, particularly as part of the birth of hip-hop culture and rap music. References are now likely too numerous to manage a list here in Wikipedia, although there are some notable examples of its unique uses.

See also



  1. ^ "TRASH-TALK | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  2. ^ "trash talk - Definition of trash talk in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries - English. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Dimengo, Nick. "The 25 Biggest Trash-Talkers in Sports History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  4. ^ Kniffin, Kevin M.; Palacio, Dylan (2018-09-01). "Trash-Talking and Trolling". Human Nature. 29 (3): 353–369. doi:10.1007/s12110-018-9317-3. ISSN 1936-4776. PMC 6132831. PMID 29804220.
  5. ^ a b Yip, Jeremy A.; Schweitzer, Maurice E.; Nurmohamed, Samir (2018-01-01). "Trash-talking: Competitive incivility motivates rivalry, performance, and unethical behavior". Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 144: 125–144. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2017.06.002. ISSN 0749-5978.
  6. ^ Jackson, Derrick Z. (February 2, 2010). "The kings of trash talk". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Arts, Way of Martial (2021-08-15). "11 Best Trash Talkers In The UFC Of All Time [Ranked!]". Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  8. ^ a b The 10 Greatest Trash Talkers in MMA History, 27 December 2020, retrieved 2022-01-31
  9. ^ a b "TOP 10 Trash Talkers in the UFC". MMA SURGE. 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  10. ^ Kniffin, Kevin; Palacio, Dylan (September 2018). "Trash-Talking and Trolling". Human Nature 29(1). 29 (3): 353–369. doi:10.1007/s12110-018-9317-3. PMC 6132831. PMID 29804220.
  11. ^ "Smack Talk". Oxford English Dictionary.
  12. ^ "SMACK TALK | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  13. ^ Social interactions in massively multiplayer online role-playing gamers, CyberPsychology and Behavior, Volume 10, pp. 575-583, H. Cole and Griffiths, MD., 2007
  14. ^ Study: Want to Make a Friend for Life? Play an MMORPG, James Brightman, August 15, 2007
  15. ^ "Blizzard Entertainment:Blizzard Legal Documentation".
  16. ^ Betches, T. (2013). Nice Is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything. Gallery Books. pp. pt23–24. ISBN 978-1-4516-8777-4. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  17. ^ Ferrell, J.; Hayward, K.; Morrison, W.; Presdee, M. (2004). Cultural Criminology Unleashed. Taylor & Francis. pp. 237–238. ISBN 978-1-135-30984-8. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  18. ^ "How spammers nearly destroyed the biggest 'Simpsons' meme page". The Daily Dot. 2016-08-24.
  19. ^ "Shitposting: What is the bizarre online behaviour that could win Donald Trump the election?". The Independent. 2016-09-23. Archived from the original on 2022-05-26.
  20. ^ "How to speak like a Donald Trump supporter". The Daily Dot. 2016-05-02.
  21. ^ "The racist, sexist alt-right is celebrating over Leslie Jones' abject humiliation". Mic (media company). 25 August 2016.
  22. ^ Walker, Alex (2016-04-05). "Purges and politics in cyberspace". Cherwell.
  23. ^ "Shitpostbot 5000 proves internet memes will outlive humans". Archived from the original on 2018-06-14.
  24. ^ "Multimedia Artist manuel arturo abreu on Shitposting and the Infinite Scroll". Paper. 2016-08-25.
  25. ^ Biggs, John (2016-09-23). "Papa, what's a shitpost?". TechCrunch.
  26. ^ "Tentamos entender a obsessão da internet com memes da Turma da Mônica" [We try to understand the obsession with internet Monica memes]. Universo Online Virgula (in Portuguese).
  27. ^ Dixon, Nicholas (2012-01-19). "Trash Talking as Irrelevant to Athletic Excellence: Response to Summers". Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. 35: 90–96. doi:10.1080/00948705.2008.9714729. ISSN 0094-8705. S2CID 145498126.