I remember back in boarding school, for a while whenever we would turn on our belly, in a fraction of a second we would have a human pile stacked one on top of another on our back. It was meant as a joke though, not harassment or anything like that. The one who caught you off guard suddenly jumped on you, lying flat on top and pinning you down, and called out for others to join in.

Yeah those were the days. Anyway, is there a word for this? I'm guessing if there is, it must be an informal one like wedgie.

  • So, @Yuri, what was the Russian name for the game? or phrase that the boys would cry as they jumped into the pile? – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:18

At least in AmE, it's called a dogpile. Someone can start a dogpile by shouting "dogpile!" just as you described.

North American informal
1 A disorderly heap of people formed around one person on whom the others jump.
‘he was mobbed by his teammates in a dogpile near mid-court’
(Oxford Dicionaries)

  • 1
    Also, pig-pile, from the late 19th century. Dogpile is from the late 20th. – Mazura Jul 21 '18 at 21:31
  • @Mazura Yup. Also, heh @ 'pigpile' picking up additional senses regarding residential density and 'dogpile' picking up additional senses involving dogshit. – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:17

Such language is probably very local, perhaps specific to particular schools.

At my school in England, we would have called this a bundle.

Wiktionary has this definition for the verb, and there are a couple of videos on youtube titled "gay bundle" for its use as a noun.

  • Who's we? Wiktionary just vaguely labels it 'slang'. – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:15
  • I wrote "we" meaning "at my school", then I found a wiktionary definition for the verb (but not the related noun) – James K Jul 23 '18 at 19:26
  • I got that. I meant where was the school? What dialect was spoken there? – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:37

In Australia, long ago, we would call this ‘stacks on the mill’ (1, 2, 3).

stacks on

As a cry in a schoolyard game, where children pile up on top of a victim, the chant is sometimes expanded to stacks on the mill, more on still. Recently, we have seen the phrase abbreviated simply to stacks on! The phrase is also used in descriptions of ball games, especially Aussie Rules, when a number of players pile up in attempting to get at the ball. The children's game is possibly a survival of a game formerly played in Cheshire, which 'consisted in getting a man down on the ground and then others falling on the top of him till there was a complete pile or stack of men' (English Dialect Dictionary...).

That's from the Australian National Dictionary Centre, who misdate the EDD and confuse the name of the Cheshire lad's game ("stack-upo’-the-kill") with a fairly identical Oxfordshire children's game ("more sacks to the mill"). Those two will probably be the earliest attested versions of this game, although I couldn't claim anyone in the UK still calls it that: they were dated terms c. 1905.

  • 1
    I know it as just 'stacks on'. That was not that long ago (a few years). – Potato44 Jul 21 '18 at 15:39
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    Not that I doubt this, but can you provide a link to a slang dictionary or something that provides support that it's a broader expression rather than just something your friends came up with? – V2Blast Jul 22 '18 at 1:19
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    @V2Blast Assuming Sydney doesn't mind, I just did the legwork myself and added it on. Maybe it started w/people being tossed onto the pile like sacks of grain; maybe it started w/'hunters' pouncing on the 'kill' before getting mangled all to pieces. Either way, it's a real thing and it looks like those two British versions will be the earliest attested forms of these games in English, assuming there isn't some version in the Oxford or Cambridge histories. – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:12
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    @Potato44 You weren't wrong and it's still current – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:14
  • lly: Thanks. Thinking more about it now, I also remember that 'stacks on the mill' was used in radio/tv commentary for Australian rules football matches. – Sydney Aug 4 '18 at 21:41

At least for American football, the term is pileup.

pileup: a rough or disorderly falling of people upon one another, as in a football game.

As in Nothing off limits in scrum at the bottom of NFL pileup.

  • 1
    Careful though, the brain injuries are real (and more common than you might think). – JJJ Jul 22 '18 at 0:25
  • It's a valid answer to the question (as is pile-on) but afaik it's not an official term and it's less common than 'dogpile' in general reference to NFL scrums. – lly Jul 23 '18 at 18:59
  • @lly "pileup" goes back to at least the 1930s for football. The word is used in this official NFL history "On the next play, concealed by a pileup, George punched the guard smartly in the teeth" books.google.com/… "dogpile" is very recent – DavePhD Jul 23 '18 at 19:14
  • Dogpile dates to the '20s, also in reference to US football, so no it isn't "very recent". Doubtless "pile" by itself, "stack", etc. are much older of course. – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:39
  • @lly The 11 December 1913 Bridgeport Evening Farmer says that 14 people died playing football so far in 1913, including a student at recess who "jumped into a pileup and was buried under a mass of players". chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84022472/1913-12-11/ed-1/… – DavePhD Jul 25 '18 at 19:26

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