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Glossary of Croquet Argot

There is a very good glossary on the Oxford site at http://www.oxfordcroquet.com/coach/intermediate/16.asp, but I found when I started playing that there are a whole heap of words and expressions in a croquet argot.  Here are some of them:



Aunt Emma

A style of playing involving making one hoop per break, and then returning to partner.

Back to mother

See Return to Partner

Bassett Slice

A method of making a close, angled hoop.  The shot is played flat, but with the swing played at an angle to the aim line.  The object is to avoid a double tap.  Named after Ian Bassett of Victoria.

Come back to me

An invitation to return to partner

Daniels Roll

“This is where you play a long roll up to your pioneer, and end up wired from it.” Per Chris Daniels

Death roll

A croquet shot from just north of penultimate.  The croqueted ball is peeled through penultimate, while the striker’s ball gets onto a reception ball at 2 back.

Easy Nine (E9)

A shortened version of the game; see Andrew Usborne's variations

Flat sweep

A shot played with the shaft parallel to the ground, the whole shaft being moved perpendicularly; see Groovy Shots page

Full roll

A roll in which the striker’s ball goes as far as the croqueted ball.

Go wide

An invitation to loose join

Hogan Roll

A roll out of corner IV, sending croqueted ball to hoop 3 and getting on to a pioneer at hoop 2.  Named after Joe Hogan of New Zealand.


See Hogan Roll

Jump shot

A shot in which the striker’s ball leaves the ground.  Usually, it is achieved by striking down at an angle, so that the ball bounces out of the lawn.

Jump slice

A jump shot in which the mallet is swept sideways across the aim line: see Groovy Shots page.

Lift shot

A shot taken by a player after his opponent has given a lift.  Almost always, all the player wants to do is to roquet a ball; he is not interested in a rush.  In a high quality game, hitting the lift shot will be just about the only opportunity a player will get to hit anything once all 4 balls are in play.

Loose join

An anti-Aunt Emma tactic.  Instead of taking a long shot at his partner or an opponent ball, the striker puts his ball some moderate distance (say 10 yards) away from his partner ball (typically along a boundary).  Aunt Emma does not then know if your balls are far enough away from each other for her to be safe, and if she comes to one of your balls, she will have difficulty getting a rush behind the other.


Also know as a Mulligan in America.  The retaking of a shot.  It is not the same as a bisque, which is another turn from where the balls lie: in a Murphy the balls are replaced.

Pass roll

A roll in which the striker’s ball travels further than the croqueted ball.  Hard to do with a light mallet.

Return to partner

The technique of completing a break by placing the player’s ball near its partner, with the opponent’s ball well separated from there and each other.


The technique of walking up to a ball from behind, as an aid to aiming.  Many commentators recommend it.  Some people creep up behind the ball with bent knees, as if trying to catch it by surprise.  This looks silly, and probably doesn’t help.

Super pass roll

A roll out of corner IV, loading hoop 3 and getting a rush on the pioneer at 2 ½ yards in from the 2nd hoop.  Per Ray Howell: “We play it usually side style with a short backswing and a good follow thru. Occasionally on fast lawns the ball sent to 3 will go out if too much back swing is used; the shot is more of a slow motion shot accelerating slightly thru the balls and being careful not to double tap or push. Simon Hockey is a great exponent of this shot to enable a standard triple over a delayed. Watch him at the worlds as he does it frequently.”

Tea lady

A leave, sometimes used when a lift has not been given.  The opponents balls are wired across hoop 1, and the player’s ball are left close to each other north-east of hoop 3.

Von Schmieder Sweep

A shot played with the shaft parallel to the ground, the top of the shaft being kept still; see Groovy Shots page

WiXy roll

A roll out of corner IV sending the croqueted ball to 3-ish and the striker’s ball to a hoop 2 pioneer at the peg. “I will be trying to perfect it, it saves me having to do those horrid delayed triples, but of course I might break down at 2. But my thinking is that if I get to 4-back and peg, failing a delayed triple then oppo ALWAYS hits the lift. So am willing to take the chance.” Per Jack Wixy Wicks