General English


  • verb to attempt to unsettle a batsman by means of ‘sledging’
    Citation ‘Last season Edmonds was ticked off by the umpire … for allegedly “sledging” the Indian batsman Dilip Vengsarkar at Lord’s and generally overdoing the overt aggression at forward short-leg’ (Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Cricketer December 1982)
    Citation ‘The South Africans threw everything in their arsenal at Hodge, and even sledged him when he asked for fly-spray, with skipper Graeme Smith chirping “don’t harm your national bird”’ (Jon Pierik, Herald Sun (Melbourne) 19 December 2005)


  • verb to slide on the snow on a sledge as a sport

Origin & History of “sledge”

English has two words sledge. The sledge (OE) of sledgehammer (15th c.) was once a word in its own right, meaning ‘heavy hammer’. It goes back to the prehistoric Germanic base *slakh- ‘hit’, source also of English slaughter, slay, etc. Sledge ‘snow vehicle’ (17th c.) was borrowed from middle Dutch sleedse. like Dutch slee (source of English sleigh (18th c.)) and Middle Low German sledde (source of English sled (14th c.)), its ultimate ancestor was the prehistoric Germanic base *slid- ‘slide’ (source of English slide).

Sledging ‘unsettling a batsman with taunts’ (20th c.), which originated in Australia in the 1970s, may have been derived from sledgehammer.