In one of my business conversation. My boss used the following sentence. But I could not get the meaning exactly.

We need it as an input, but can punt as an report, yes.

Can anyone explain the above?

1 Answer 1


It is a sporting metaphor. In rugby and gridiron football, the player will sometimes kick the ball forward (and to the opposing team) instead of running or passing the ball. It is usually only done when there is no better option. This is called "punting".

As a metaphor it means "take the least bad option". If an "input" is not possible the least bad option is as a "report". It's not ideal but in that situation it is the best choice.

  • The definition is right but I don't think this is what the boss meant. He meant that the item being discussed (this sounds to me like software engineering) must be supported for input, but support for generating reports can be skipped.
    – TypeIA
    May 27, 2019 at 6:42
  • 1
    Please add your own answer.
    – James K
    May 27, 2019 at 6:47
  • Slightly off topic. To take a punt at something is a way of saying to attempt to do that thing. Not to be confused with a punt which is a flat bottomed leisure boat propelled by a pole :}. May 27, 2019 at 10:08
  • I did look at other possible metaphorical meanings. "propel a boat", "kick something away" or "place a bet". These don't seem to fit the context or the syntax. If he had said "punt the report" it might mean "kick away". If he had said "take a punt on a report" then it might be "place a bet". But "can punt as report" would seem to indicate that the report would be the punt, and therefore the metaphorical meaning "least bad option" seems to apply. However there may be other interpretations, and I would welcome other answers.
    – James K
    May 27, 2019 at 16:27

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