Paperbacks: Bob Wilson's Ultimate Collection of Peculiar Sporting Lingo, by Bob Wilson

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The Independent Culture

Though the phrase "beautiful game" is inexplicably excluded, football manages 59 entries: one ahead of golf with its odd argot of eagles and stymies, but 12 behind cricket, with "air hostess" (high shot) and "pair of spectacles" (double duck).

Wilson claims the term "Nelson" for the "unlucky" cricketing number 111 derives from the "common misconception" that the admiral "had lost one eye, one arm and one leg". He doesn't seem aware of another far more logical explanation: "One eye, one arm, one arsehole."