I am someone who grew up in Canada, and been mostly exposed to Canadian, American, and British English.

When speaking with some Australians, I've been noticing the use of the phrase "great pickup", or "nice pickup".

The meaning is similar to how I would say "nice catch", or "good eye", or more verbosely, "good job noticing that".

Is this phrase used commonly used by Australians? Who uses it?

  • 'Good spot' is probably the most idiomatic way to say this generally. '[Having] a good eye' is common with the meaning of 'very able to spot things of value / beauty'. Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Quoting Wikipedia's Glossary of Australian Rules Football :

Pick up: picking up a loose ball off the ground.


enter image description here Player performing a pick up on the run

Caveat: I'm not Australian so can't say if this is a common idiom in their general speech.

  • Are you saying that "pick-up" as suggested in the question is an extention of the verb ?
    – user66974
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 8:07
  • @josh I'm saying it can be a noun (not just a verb). Some more examples (not all Australian Rules) at sportspromedia.com/opinion/10_of_the_best_pick_ups_in_sport
    – k1eran
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 8:13
  • 1
    @k1eran That would make sense. Perhaps "nice catch" also has roots in something like baseball or gridiron football.
    – mattliu
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 9:04
  • "Good pickup" is short for "It's good that you picked (me) up on that". It means basically what you think it means. I wouldn't specifically attribute it to AFL terminology, though.
    – Nathan
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 3:34
  • Merriam-Webster has a lengthy entry for pickup as a noun, with various senses from different meanings of the verb; sense 2 seems most relevant.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 11:32

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