I heard the phrase "bury a jumper" in an NBA game. I googled it, and found:

According to this site:

bury a jumper: To make an especially pretty jump shot.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, here bury means:

sports : to succeed emphatically or impressively in making (a shot)

I'm curious about where did this usage of bury come from? How does it relate to the word's originial meaning?

  • 1
    I'd guess the metaphoric element here derives from earlier idiomatically established usages like burying the ball in the net (basketball), or ...in the goalmouth (soccer) or in the pocket (snooker). I don't follow basketball, but a "jumper" sounds like a natural usage for "shot the requires player to jump high". Apr 1, 2021 at 15:36
  • ”We have lots of different ways of describing goals in football and when a player really strikes the ball hard and gives the keeper no chance we can say that the player has buried the ball in the back of the net - he or she has scored with a really hard shot. Of course, the verb ‘to bury‘ means to put something in the ground and so in football the suggestion is that if a player buries the ball in the back of the net, the ball is not coming back; it is an emphatic goal and the keeper and defence can do nothing about it.*” languagecaster.com/football-language-bury-ball-back-net
    – user 66974
    Apr 1, 2021 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Many times in sports, the lingo is very, very complicated if you don't know the slang of the place and very idiomatic English.

A jumper stands for a jump shot in basketball.

Bury here means to shove it or push into or through the basket so that it cannot not go through it.

Bury a jumper: execute a clean jump shot.

(Also, in sports lingo, when you win over an opponent, you can be said to bury them).

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