Not too long ago, I asked my readership about the term cow corner. Now, I’ve got another one: jaffa. I know what it means: a very good, often unplayable, delivery that beats or dismisses a batsman. Just don’t know where or how the term originated. The word is not in the English dictionary either. The only Jaffa outside of the cricket world is a city in Israel, apparently.

What dost thou say?


8 Responses to “Jaffa?”

  1. S Jagadish Says:

    Jaffa is a variety of orange apparently. But I haven’t been able to find out why an orange was used to indicate an unplayable ball. Perhaps someone fooled a batsman once by bowling with a Jaffa orange, which the batsman failed to negotiate and ended up making an ass of himself …

  2. Amar Says:

    Once again, it’s me — the savior of Pratik’s curiosity. Jagadish was partly right.

    “A slang term used to describe a delivery bowled so well by the bowler it is unplayable. The term is thought to originate from the sweet (candy) of the same name, which is a small orange coloured chocolate filled ball. It may also come from the fruit of the same name, an orange known as the Jaffa, which is a very sweet seedless variety.”


  3. Amar Says:

    “a widely used term meaning an unplayable ball – one that deviates or spins alarmingly off the pitch. The origin could be related to the delivery being ‘juicy’. ”


  4. sukhi Says:

    well, I thot you were reffering either to Wasim Jaffer or Gaffe! 😀

  5. Pratik Says:

    Thanks for the info, guys.

  6. Nik Says:

    Well, there is connection to the city of Jaffa in Israel. The Jaffa orange is a very sweet, almost seedless orange exported from Israel. It takes its name from the port city of Jaffa. The term derived from the fact that a Jaffa is almost a prefect, or in other words, ‘a very sweet’ delivery.

  7. Pratik Says:

    Thanks for the info, Nik.

  8. Colin Says:

    The name, “Jaffa” in Hewbrew, I believe means “beauty” or beautiful. The term in cricket may have come from this origin. “He bowled a real “Jaffa” (beauty) – A ‘beautiful’ (unplayable) ball.

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