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Leap into the fast-paced universe of badminton—a sport of agility and precision!

Arm yourself with these 30 crisp terms that’ll have you talking like a seasoned shuttler.

From smashing birdies to acing serves, get ready to conquer the court lexicon.

It’s time to shuttle up and play the game lingo!

Must-Know Badminton Terms, Phrases and Slang:

  1. Alley
  2. Backhand
  3. Birdie (Shuttlecock)
  4. Clear
  5. Drive
  6. Drop shot
  7. Fault
  8. Feint
  9. Flick
  10. Forehand
  11. Game point
  12. Let
  13. Match point
  14. Net shot
  15. Overhead
  16. Rally
  17. Serve
  18. Smash
  19. Stroke
  20. Tumbling shuttle
  21. Service court
  22. Double hit
  23. Crosscourt
  24. Hairpin net shot
  25. Kill
  26. Long serve
  27. Short serve
  28. Sides
  29. Thumbing grip
  30. Wood shot

#1 Alley

The ‘alley’ refers to the area of the badminton court that is between the singles and doubles sidelines. This area is only considered in play during doubles matches, adding width to the field of play.

#2 Backhand

A backhand stroke is performed by swinging the racket with the back of the hand leading towards the shuttle. It’s typically used when the shuttle is on the left side for right-handed players, and vice versa for left-handed players.

#3 Birdie (Shuttlecock)

The ‘birdie’ or shuttlecock is the projectile used in badminton, which players hit back and forth across the net. Its unique feathered or synthetic design allows it to fly distinctly through the air.

#4 Clear

A clear is a shot hit deep to the opponent’s back boundary line, usually as a defensive move to allow more time to reposition or offensively to move the opponent away from the net.

#5 Drive

A drive is a fast and flat stroke that flies directly over the net, meant to put pressure on the opponent by reducing their reaction time due to the speed and trajectory of the shuttle.

#6 Drop shot

A drop shot is a delicate and precise stroke that barely clears the net and drops steeply downward into the opponent’s front court, often catching them off guard if they’re positioned further back.

#7 Fault

In badminton, a fault is any action that contravenes the laws of the game and results in a point being awarded to the opponent. Common faults include hitting the shuttlecock out of bounds, failing to clear the net, serving incorrectly, or hitting the shuttle before it crosses over the net.

#8 Feint

A feint in badminton is a deceptive move where a player pretends to make one type of shot but executes another, misleading the opponent about the actual direction or power of the shuttlecock. This tactic is used to create openings and wrong-foot the opponent.

#9 Flick

A surprise badminton shot where the wrist is used to propel the shuttlecock over the opponent’s head. It’s often used during service or defense, creating a fast and deceptive change in play to catch the opponent off guard.

#10 Forehand

One of the most fundamental strokes in badminton, where the shuttlecock is hit with the racket’s front and the palm of the hand leading. The forehand stroke is powerful and versatile, used from any court area.

#11 Game point

A scenario in badminton where a player or team needs one more point to win the current game within a match. Intense and high-pressure, the player serving at game point has a chance to close out the game.

#12 Let

A halt in play which occurs when an unforeseen or accidental situation prevents a rally from continuing. Examples include the shuttlecock getting stuck in the net or a player serving before the opponent is ready.

#13 Match point

Similar to game point, match point is the critical moment when a player or team is just one point away from winning the entire match. Tension runs high as competitors vie to secure the winning point.

#14 Net shot

A strategic badminton stroke where the shuttlecock is played tightly over the net, making it drop sharply and close to the net on the opponent’s side. Executed well, it’s challenging for opponents to return effectively.

#15 Overhead

An overhead shot in badminton is any stroke played above the height of a player’s head, typically with a forehand or backhand motion. These shots can include clears, smashes, and drops, all requiring good timing and technique to execute effectively from this high position.

#16 Rally

A rally in badminton refers to a sequence of back-and-forth plays where the shuttlecock is hit over the net between opponents. A rally starts with a serve and continues until the shuttlecock lands on the floor or a fault is committed. The point is then awarded to the player or team that did not commit the fault.

#17 Serve

In badminton, the serve is the shot that initiates play and must be hit diagonally into the opponent’s service court. There are different serving styles, such as high, low, flick, or drive serves, each with strategic uses.

#18 Smash

A smash is a powerful overhead shot hit steeply downwards into the opponent’s court. It’s one of the most aggressive and attacking moves in badminton, often used to finish off a rally or put the opponent on the defensive.

#19 Stroke

A stroke in badminton refers to the movement and technique used to hit the shuttlecock. There are different types of strokes like clears, drops, drives, and smashes, each with specific tactical applications in a match.

#20 Tumbling shuttle

A tumbling shuttle is a shot that causes the shuttlecock to rotate and tumble over the net, making it difficult for the opponent to execute a clean return due to the shuttle’s erratic movement.

#21 Service court

The service court is the area into which a serve must be delivered. In singles, this court is narrower, while in doubles, it is wider, but shorter. The server must serve diagonally crosscourt to the receiver’s service court.

#22 Double hit

A double hit is an illegal action when the shuttle is hit twice in succession or by two different players on the same side. It is counted as a fault, and the point is awarded to the opponent.

#23 Crosscourt

A crosscourt shot in badminton is one that is hit diagonally from one side of the court to the other. These shots can be used strategically to move the opponent around and create difficult angles for them to return.

#24. Hairpin Net Shot

A delicate and precise shot where the shuttle grazes just over the net and drops sharply, resembling the shape of a hairpin. This shot is often used to counter tight net play and requires deft touch and control.

#25. Kill

A quick and decisive shot that is hit sharply and downward into the opponent’s court, making it nearly impossible to return. The kill is typically executed when the shuttle is close to the net and puts an abrupt end to the rally.

#26. Long Serve

A serve that is struck to the back of the opponent’s service court, intending to push them away from the net. It’s a strategic serve in both singles and doubles play, commonly used to create space and start the rally with an advantage.

#27. Short Serve

Opposite to the long serve, the short serve barely clears the net and drops quickly into the opponent’s front service court. It’s a tactical play to prevent the opponent from executing a powerful return and often used in doubles to initiate close net exchanges.

#28. Sides

Refers to the left and right sections of the court in both singles and doubles play. In singles, players often switch sides to maintain a strategic position, while in doubles, partners have specific sides they cover based on their formation and tactics.

#29. Thumbing Grip

In badminton, the thumbing grip (also known as the thumb grip) is a specific way to hold the racket primarily used for executing backhand shots, especially in situations where power and control are needed from the back of the court.

#30 Wood shot

A wood shot occurs when the shuttlecock is hit with the frame of the racket instead of the stringed area. In traditional badminton rules, this was considered a fault. However, modern rules allow a wood shot as long as the shuttlecock goes over the net to the opponent’s side and lands within the boundaries of the court.


What are some Badminton terms for beginners?

“Serve,” “Clear,” and “Smash,” are some Badminton terms beginners should start with. These are essential strokes that form the foundation of Badminton gameplay.

What are some funny Badminton terms?

“Hairpin net shot” and “Wood shot” are some funny Badminton terms that can bring a smile due to their quirky names, adding a playful element to understanding the sport’s dynamics.

What is a famous Badminton phrase?

“Love-all, play,” is a famous Badminton phrase, which signals the start of a match or game, akin to “play ball” in some other sports, indicating that the score is 0-0 and the game is to begin.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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