Examples of clutch
Examples of clutch
Where does clutch come from?
The word clutch is found in Middle English, meaning “to grasp something tightly,” especially in one’s metaphoric clutches, or “claws.” A woman’s clutch bag, or clutch, is recorded in the 1940s. It’s a small, usually strapless purse she must clutch to carry.
The slang modifier clutch, for “done well in a crucial situation,” appears to originate in sports, particularly baseball. A sports clutch, in noun form, is a high-pressure moment that can determine the outcome of a game. This dates back to at least the 1920s and is metaphorical, i.e., the moment at which something has or is in something’s clutch, or “grip” or “control.”
As Life magazine memorably used the term in 1951: “And when it came to the clutch, Johnny Mize, who was washed up five years ago, would crack out a pinch double, or Mickey Mantle, who is not yet ready for the big leagues, would slam out a home run.” Moments can be clutch, as can players, plays, or calls—they all make a difference at key points in a game, especially near the end.
Clutch evolved in the 1980–90s to mean something that happened exactly where and when you needed it, e.g., coming in clutch. Such a thing is extremely desirable, and so by extension, clutch came to mean “excellent” or “effective” more generally.
LeBron James to all his haters right now. 😂 pic.twitter.com/hnmJvSVTph
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) April 26, 2018
By at least 2010, video gamers turned clutch into a verb for winning a game under pressure, as in clutching is my favorite part of the game. This use of clutch is especially prevalent in first-person shooters such as CounterStrike, Call of Duty, and Fortnite, but it also surfaces in games like Pokémon.
Who uses clutch?
The everyday clutch is everywhere. If you’re clutching your pearls because you’re in the clutches of anger about the clutch of your manual transmission car, be sure not to drop your clutch.
The sports slang clutch is also everywhere, compelling a writer for sports website The Bleacher Report to call it “the most overused term in sports” in 2009. A player who clinches a win at the very last moment is said to have come in clutch. Another player could be said to amp it up in the clutch.
Lou Will: Forever Clutch 👌 pic.twitter.com/bIPrSvtCw5
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 4, 2018
Two #OKState returners and two clutch home runs.
— Cowgirl Softball (@CowgirlSB) September 28, 2018
The broader slang clutch, for “great at just the right moment,” also commonly appears in the phrase come in clutch or come through (in the) clutch. It can also just be a modifier on it’s own, e.g., That pizza at 2am was so clutch. I would have had the worst hangover otherwise. Clutch pizza, people. Or a pizza-shaped clutch purse.
I got leftover pizza at the crib #Clutch
— Slow Jams Dan (@WakeUpDanny) December 3, 2018
— -`𝐵𝑒𝑒´- (@joonsbutterfly) September 28, 2018
Gamers also use clutch term to describe winning a tough game or round as having clutched it.