noun; sound symbolism
in basketball, a pass from one player that is caught in mid-air and dunked This neologism is another one used in the basketball community that is so popular we can expect it to hit the mainstream. The speaker coined the new term because an alley-oop is a special play that deserves its own term. A “direct pass for a dunk” would be gaudy. The other aspect is that expression would not carry the same punch that alley-oop does, and it is the broadcasters job to bring some excitement and verve to his work. Alley-oop is a term that expresses the two-part nature of the action, first the pass (‘alley’) and the dunk (‘oop’). The sound of the word suggests the meaning of it, as you can almost hear an emphatic ‘oop.’
The dunk by Frye! The alley-oop from Marbury.
Etymology : sound symbolism
Source : NBA on ESPN broadcaster
Last modified: 10 June 2008