English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How would one describe a player in a team that is not playing much, and is usually just on the bench for most of the games?

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'm not much of a sports expert so I don't know if there's an official term, but I've always heard the phrase "bench-warmer" used to describe those types of players.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Thom. It seems there is even a Benchwarmers movie: imdb.com/title/tt0437863 – 719016 Jul 5 '11 at 10:52
Compare the term super-sub, which I've heard extensively in British football commentary to refer to someone on the bench who, rather than being weak, is actually being kept in reserve as a tactic, and is usually an excellent player. – Brad Apr 26 '12 at 19:51

I think the term is:

bench: Sports . (of a player) not participating in play, either for part or all of a game.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.