Trash-talk is a form of boast or insult
An insult is an expression, statement which is considered degrading and offensive. Insults may be intentional or accidental...

 commonly heard in competitive situations (such as sports events), primarily in the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is often used to intimidate the opposition, but can also be used in a humorous
Humour or humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement...

 spirit. Trash-talk is often characterized by use of hyperbole
Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally....

, or figurative language, e.g., "Your team can't run! You run like honey on ice!" Pun
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use and abuse of homophonic,...

s and other wordplay are commonly used.

Trash-talk was commonly used by the heavyweight
Heavyweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Fighters who weigh over 200 pounds are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing...

Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 champion Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

 in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, it has become common for boxers, wrestlers
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

 and other sportsmen to use trash-talk. Trash talking (or "hot dogging") in amateur sports ranks is generally discouraged and frowned upon (especially in youth leagues).

See also

  • Wolf ticket
    Wolf ticket
    Wolf ticket is an African-American slang term meaning a verbal threat, criticism, or insult. The term originates from woofing, meaning aimless talk, an onomatopoeic reference to the sound of dogs barking...

  • The dozens
    The dozens
    The Dozens is a game that has its origins in African American slavery. The game originates from the devaluing and bargaining off of deformed or defective slaves in auction houses. This element of the African American oral tradition in which two competitors, usually males, go head-to-head in a...

  • Fighting words
    Fighting words
    Fighting words are written or spoken words, generally expressed to incite hatred or violence from their target. Specific definitions, freedoms, and limitations of fighting words vary by jurisdiction...

  • Sledging (cricket)
    Sledging (cricket)
    Sledging is a term used in cricket to describe the practice whereby some players seek to gain an advantage by insulting or verbally intimidating the opposing player. The purpose is to try to weaken the opponent's concentration, thereby causing him to make mistakes or underperform...

  • Smack talk
    Smack talk
    Smack talk is a slang term seen in chat channels in chat room, blog, and MMOG conversations. It generally refers to the use of threatening or intentionally inflammatory language....

  • Profanity
    Profanity is a show of disrespect, or a desecration or debasement of someone or something. Profanity can take the form of words, expressions, gestures, or other social behaviors that are socially constructed or interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, obscene, desecrating, or other forms.The...

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