For this week’s English for football phrase languagecaster brings you the expression ‘handbags‘. Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below and listening to the audio. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here. This post also features in our podcast show, along with a main report and our weekly predictions.
Every now and then you will hear a commentator say something like, ‘It’s just a bit of handbags‘. What does this phrase mean? It is used to describe a situation where two or more players are pushing and shoving each other, jostling, usually after a bad tackle. ‘It’s only handbags‘ means that the argument or fight is not serious and no-one should worry that it will become violent. The handbags is a reference to the woman’s accessory and is used to imply that the players are fighting like women, in other words, not seriously. Many people believe the phrase is a corruption of ‘pistols at 10 paces’, a phrase describing the practice of duelling with guns, becoming ‘handbags at 10 paces’ and later just handbags. Handbags
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