clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Cartilage Free Captain Glossary

Whether you're new to Tottenham Hotspur in general or just new to this site, there's going to be a lot of lingo thrown around that you may not get. Generally, people pick up the jargon, inside jokes and Spurs knowledge-dropping pretty fast, but some people are afraid to ask when they have questions about a joke or reference. No one should ever feel that way, because everyone around here is really nice, but we figured we'd put together a glossary of terms anyway so that no one feels left out.

A huge thanks goes out to the Cartilage Free Captain community for helping to create this.

Harryisms/Things related to Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp was the manager of Tottenham Hotspur for three and a half seasons until he was sacked this summer. Things that he says get their own category

Bacon sandwiches - After Tottenham lost to Stoke last season, aided by a dodgy offside call, Redknapp said: "But he'll look at it tonight on TV when his wife's making him a bacon sandwich and he'll think ‘fuck me, what have I done there." We now make references to bacon sandwiches a lot.

'Triffic and top, top lad - Things Redknapp says about players all the time.

Wheeler dealer - In an interview, a manager asked Redknapp about being a "wheeler dealer". He replied by saying "I'm not a wheeler dealer, I'm a fucking football manager." This is why our podcast is named Wheeler Dealer Radio.

Get some fuckin' brains in ya and No wonder he's in the fucking reserves - While manager of Southampton, a reserve player hit Redknapp in the head with a ball while he was doing an interview, and he uttered these fine phrases.

FRAAB - Once, Redknapp told Roman Pavlyuchenko to 'fuckin run around a bit" as a tactical instruction before subbing him on. We now use the acronym "FRAAB". It's often used to describe tactics where the formation happens as a product of the players just figuring it out, not because of any tactical instructions. The "FRAAB 4-3-3" features a front three of players doing random things, with no obvious set role as left forward, center forward and right forward.

Speaking of Pavlyuchenko

Roman Pavlyuchenko memes

Roman Pavlyuchenko missed a lot of shots and generally looked lazy during his time at Spurs. He also scored some insane goals and did airplane celebrations. He is often referred to as 'Pav' or 'Comrade Vroom'. Often, when he screwed up, people yelled PUCK FAV. Somehow, this still slips into conversations. 'Row Z' is the place to which Pav kicks the ball. We have a theory that he is the member of an odd religious cult where he has to become one with Row Z.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto memes

He has many alternate names. You'll hear him referred to simply as Benny, as well as BAE and Disco Benny. Whenever someone throws in a random LOL, it's a reference to his twitter feed.

Alternate names for Arsenal

I'm personally not a huge rivalry guy in any sport, but the majority of the members of this site have a very strong dislike for Arsenal FC, Tottenham's North London neighbors. You will commonly hear them referred to as The Scum, Woolwich, Woolwich Wanderers, WWFC, Gooners, The Arse, and Le Arse. The last one comes from their French manager Arsene Wenger's affinity for buying French footballers. Woolwich is the original home of Arsenal, and because of that, many Tottenham fans like to make fun of the fact that they are not originally from North London.

Alternate names for players

Johnny Two Saints - Giovani dos Santos (you can figure it out)

Johnny Vertical - Jan Vertonghen (also obvious)

Sisqo - Jermain Defoe (he dyed his hair white)

Weezus - Gareth Bale ('Welsh Jesus')

RAF Fighter Pilot/Sky Captain - Scott Parker (he looks like an RAF fighter pilot; credit to Chelsea blogger Graham MacAree)

My cousin - Niko Kranjcar (now departed, reference to GTA IV)

Kaboul in a china shop - Younes Kaboul (who is reckless and looks like a bull)

THudd/Huddlefro - Tom Huddlestone (both pretty self-explanatory)

Hurricane/Sugar - Harry Kane (a play on his name, obviously)

Azza - Aaron Lennon (I honestly have no idea)

Rafa/VDV - Rafael Van der Vaart (duh)

Siggy - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Siggy, Siggy Siggy, can't you see, sometimes your words just hypnotize me)

The CFC - Ledley King (This site is named after him. His knees are straight bone-on-bone.)

Jokes related to the staff

Stachelock - Bryan Ashlock once posted a picture of his mustache, which was a terrible idea.

Ashlock hates America - He does. Pretty simple. He's also a communist.

Inverted wingers - Bryan Ashlock thinks that right footed wingers should play on the right and left footed wingers should play on the left. This is a recurring joke.

Calculator watch/What's a Hotspur - Brian Mechanick dressed up as Gareth Bale for Halloween and posted a picture of him, wearing a calculator watch, standing next to an attractive young woman who looked very disinterested in the party they were attending.

Rosey's dead in a ditch - Ryan Rosenblatt disappears sometimes. We assume he got too drunk and died in a ditch.

Pwners of a lonely Hearts - I wrote about how Hearts of Midlothian are a crappy team before Spurs played them last year. Hearts fans got really mad and then we beat the piss out of them.


Footbaw is what we call American Football, or Gridiron. A lot of the people here are big fans of American college football, and a lot of us frequent the website EDSBS. A lot of the stuff from there has carried over. PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWL is a reference to Paul Finebaum, who has a popular radio call-in show. People with thick southern drawls call his show frequently and offer conspiracy theories. Other Finebaum-related memes are IMMA HANG UP AN LISSEN and IT'S A CONSPIRACY PAWL.


Yid/Yiddo - Originally used as a racist term against Jewish people, used in a derogitory way towards Tottenham's fanbase because of the high concentration of Jewish fans. Lots of Tottenham fans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have adopted the term as their own and proudly claim to be Yids.

Lilywhites - Another club nickname, referring to the white shirts.

N17 - The postcode of the part of North London where White Hart Lane sits.

NDP - The Northumberland Development Project, a proposed new stadium for Tottenham and accompanying development in North London.

Lasagnagate - Tottenham Hotspur was fighting Arsenal for fourth place in the 2005/06 season, when a good number of players on the team got food poisoning from eating lasagna at a hotel. There's a conspiracy theory that the hotel staff were Arsenal fans who tampered with the food. Spurs went on to lose the last game of the season.

Crouchy's having his nachos! - On the Guardian's Football Weekly podcast, Sean Ingle told a story about Peter Crouch going into a fast food joint, demanding some free nachos, and saying 'Crouchy's having his nachos!' while eating them. Tottenham have sold Peter Crouch, but he's well liked here and we still post funny GIFs of him, and use this phrase.

WAGES WAGES WAGES - Our kind moderator's response whenever someone proposes that we purchase a player who has wages far above and beyond what will fit into Tottenham's wage structure.

Emirates Library - Arsenal plays at Emirates Stadium, which is veeeeeery quiet.

LOLverpool/Seventhpool/Eighthpool - We like to make fun of the downfall of Liverpool FC, because it's allowed Tottenham to become a regular top-four contender.

Chicken'd - We have a great member here named The Sleeping Chicken, who always tends to look on the darker side of things. When someone makes a ridiculously negative comment, well above and beyond what The Sleeping Chicken actually does, people occasionally reply "Chicken'd".

Gary Rootbeer - Originally given to Gary Smith, manager of Stevenage, Gary Rootbeer now refers to just about any lower league manager or coach that isn't famous. People will occasionally ask "Who is Gary Rootbeer?"

Kenny Chesney - Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Foy'd - When a bad refereeing decision doesn't go your way; reference to Chris Foy.

Stoke'd - When a team beats you by playing defensive, negative football and capitalizing off set pieces. Or, just when someone elbows you in the face.

Twellman'd - Taylor Twellman is an American retired footballer and TV analyst. He regularly calls for teams to switch to a 4-4-2 formation. If someone calls for Tottenham (or any team) to play 4-4-2 when others think it's inappropriate, then everyone just got Twellman'd.

Modric replacement - I got mad at people asking if No. 10s would be replacements for Luka Modric, who is not a No. 10, so people have started asking if random players are Modric replacements.

#WeNeedAStriker - Tottenham Hotspur hasn't had a reliable line-leading center forward since they sold Dimitar Berbatov a while ago. Emmanuel Adebayor is okay, though!

#batcountry - Where absurd transfer rumors live.

ON HIS PREMIER LEAGUE DEBUT - Danny Rose scored against Arsenal with a volley on his Premier League debut. Someone yells this basically every time he plays, or whenever he's discussed.

Laxbro - Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, who looks like a lacrosse player. Just lax.

Spurs legends

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these guys will get discussed quite a bit.

Glenn Hoddle - Arguably the best player to ever play for the club, and the man our morning links post, the Hoddle of Coffee, is named after.

Bill Nicholson - Basically devoted his life to Tottenham Hotspur. Between his senior playing, scouting, coaching and managing career, he was with Sputs from 1938 to 1974. The road that leads to White Hart Lane is called Bill Nicholson Way. He has a famous quote that fits in nicely with the club's motto, 'To Dare is to Do'. ‘It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.'

Dave Mackay - The best Tottenham player of the 1960s.

Danny Blanchflower - Some overlap with the career of Mackay, but considered the best Tottenham player of the 1950s.

Paul Gascoigne - Only played for Tottenham for three seasons, but that's as long as he stuck with anyone else. One of the best English footballers of all time. Never really reached his potential due to a combination of not being a typical English player and having a terrible alcohol problem.

Ledley King - A somewhat active legend, whose playing career is possibly done, and at least close to done. Chronic knee problems have limited his playing time, but he was considered one of the best defenders in the Premier League when he was able to play every game.

Steve Perryman - Played 854 times for the club, spanning three different decades.

Chris Hughton - The current manager of Norwich City and long-time Tottenham assistant after his playing days were over. One of the best fullbacks to ever play for the club.

Ray Clemence - The long-time Liverpool goalkeeper finished his career for Tottenham, playing over 200 games for the club and still representing England while with Spurs. He is now England's goalkeeping coach.

Ossie Ardiles - Argentinian international who spent a decade at Tottenham. Watching him and Hoddle on the same pitch would have been sweet, but I'm not that old.

Teddy Sheringham - English international striker who scored over 100 goals for Tottenham.

Jurgen Klinsmann - Somehow, a guy who played for Spurs for a season and a half was a legend. He scored 39 goals in just 65 appearances for Spurs.

Chris Waddle - Though he was an excellent player, he's probably best known 'round these parts for the song 'Diamond Lights', which he recorded with Glenn Hoddle.

Ricky Villa - Won the Wembley Goal of the Century award for his spectacular goal against Macnhester City in the FA Cup Final replay in 1981.

David Ginola - Won the PFA and Writers' Player of the Year awards while playing for the worst Tottenham Hotspur team in recent memory, back in 1999.

Gary Lineker - Remembered best for his time at Leicester City in England and Barcelona, came to Spurs after he was done at Barcelona and continued to be awesome for us. Scored 80 goals in 138 appearances for Spurs.