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knuckle ball

or knuckleball

noun, Baseball.
a slow pitch that moves erratically toward home plate, usually delivered by holding the ball between the thumb and the knuckles of the first joints of the first two or three fingers.
Also called knuckler
[nuhk-ler] /ˈnʌk lər/ (Show IPA)
Origin of knuckle ball
An Americanism dating back to 1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Word Origin and History for knuckleball

also knuckle-ball, baseball pitch, by 1909, from knuckle (n.) + ball (n.1). So called from the position of the fingers in throwing it. Related: Knuckleballer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for knuckleball



: a knuckleball artist


A pitch thrown from the knuckles that moves slowly and erratically; butterfly ball: Leonard's tantalizing knucklers (1906+ Baseball)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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