How well do you know the language of football cliches? Take our football cliche quiz to find out.
Football clichés are expressions or sayings that are often associated with the emotional aspect of the game and they form an important part of the football discourse - all fans of the game know what 110%, sick as a parrot and over the moon mean. Check through the meaning of the following words and phrases on this page and then check your understanding in our football cliche quizzes.
What does the expression ‘schoolboy error’ mean? Find out on this week’s football language podcast.
This week’s English for football phrase is the expression,which is becoming a bit of a cliche, ‘unplayable’.
What does the phrase ‘seen them given’ mean? This football expression suggests that the referee could have awarded a penalty but did not.
What is a ‘bad day at the office?’ This week’s English for football phrase introduces this cliche.
In honour of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement from Manchester United this week after more than a quarter of a century in charge we look at five Fergie-inspired posts from the Languagecaster.com archives.
This week, languagecaster.com brings you a common football cliche – ‘They wanted it more’.
Pipped at the post: This means to be beaten at the last moment; just before the end of the race or game. In football, we use this to talk about a team who loses the race to be champions at the last minute.
How many different kinds of shots are there in football – here we explain one of them – to lob
This week, languagecaster.com introduces the English football phrase and cliche ‘Roy of the Rovers stuff’.
To not admit defeat; to refuse to give up; to have a great fighting spirit. What cliche describes this attitude? Check our Football glossary.
Do you know what the phrase ‘on paper’ refers to in football? Listen to our weekly football phrase to find out.
(to be) Sent to the stands: To be sent off; to receive a red card; to be removed from the pitch. The stand is where the fans sit and watch the game.
What do you call a small team that has little chance chance of winning? Check out ‘minnow’ in our football glossary.
What’s the missing word in this phrase from the glossary – The ___ merry-go-round?
This English for Football phrase is to be in with a shout and it means to have a chance of doing well in something even though you may not be expected to do so.
The English for Football expression to stamp your authority on something has a basic meaning of showing who is in charge or demonstrating control over someone.
Today’s English for Football expression is a classic footballing cliche – football is a funny old game.
When a plan goes wrong, is not successful, and it results in a disaster you can use the phrase ‘go pear-shaped’
The languagecaster team explain a new football phrase or cliche for learners of English who love the sport. Click on the link below to learn about the phrase ‘men against boys’, that also comes with a transcript.
Hairdryer treatment: An expression used to describe how Sir Alex Ferguson (see Fergie) angrily shouts at players at half-time if they are under-performing.
Football glossary – Fox in the Box – A deadly striker, a player who scores most goals in the box, not particularly skillful but scores a lot of goals. Crafty.
To go down to the wire: When a game, or more usually a league, has an exciting or tight finish. The result is not known until the very end.
To do the double over: To beat a team twice in the same season; winning home and away
Underdog – The team that no one expects to win (opposite of favourites), usually popular with fans (see also ‘minnow’).
To Lose the Dressing Room: This expression is used when a manager (or captain) has lost the respect of the rest of the players
This week, languagecaster.com introduce the football cliche ‘it’s a funny old game’.
(to) Get off to a flier: This simply means that a team has started a match or the season very well indeed
Dead man walking: This refers to a manager who everyone knows will soon be sacked; will soon be fired. He will soon lose his job.
Days are numbered: We use this expression to describe a situation in which a manager (or player) is about to lose their job: they are under intense pressure