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Trash-talk is a form of boast or insult commonly heard in competitive situations (such as sports events and multiplayer video games). It is often used to intimidate the opposition, but can also be used in a humorous spirit. Trash-talk is often characterized by use of hyperbole or figurative language, such as, "Your team can't run! You run like honey on ice!" Puns and other wordplay are commonly used.
Trash-talk was commonly used by the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963, Ali even released a popular full-length record album consisting largely of trash-talk poetry. It was entitled I Am the Greatest!, a phrase that would become his signature line. Since then, it has become common for boxers, wrestlers, and many other sports competitors to use trash-talk. However, in amateur sports ranks, trash talking is generally frowned upon as unsportsmanlike conduct (especially in youth leagues). More recently it has been adopted by UFC fighter Conor McGregor.
Although the practice of trying to distract opponents by verbal abuse is common to virtually all sports, other sports sometimes have their own terminology for verbal abuse: for example, cricket calls it sledging and in ice hockey it is called chirping. Down Gaelic footballer Brendan Coulter has admitted to being targeted by sledging while on the field of play. The Wealdstone Raider, a notorious fan hailing from Wealdstone, is known for trash-talking the opposition and opposition's fans.
- Jackson, Derrick Z. (February 2, 2010). "The kings of trash talk". Boston.com (Boston Globe, Globe Newspaper Company). Retrieved March 17, 2016.