Breaking Ankles

What does breaking ankles mean in sports?

Causing a player to stumble

In sports, when a player is "breaking ankles," they make quick movements that cause other players trying to keep up with them to stumble, which looks like their ankles broke. People typically use it when referring to defenders in sports like basketball, football, and soccer.

For example, a point guard in basketball breaks ankles when they are dribbling and cross over a defender, causing them to trip up on their feet and fall over. Or, in football, a wide receiver may make quick movements while running a route to get open and catch a pass, breaking the ankles of the defensive back guarding them.

Sports fans love when players break defenders' ankles, even if the play doesn't result in any points or goals. For example, if a basketball player breaks his defender's ankles but misses the lay-up, fans will still go wild over the juke. You may also see or hear people refer to moments where people break ankles as "ankle breakers" or "broken ankles."


Nash was a savage at breaking ankles
His highlight vids are so good!
Garrett Wilson breaking ankles tweet
Garrett Wilson breaking ankles tweet

Related Slang


Updated June 28, 2023

Breaking ankles definition by

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