Football Language: To turn on a sixpence

This cliche is used to describe a move when a player wants to escape from another player. because he or she turns very quickly from a small space to move away from his or her marker. A sixpence was an old coin used in Britain more than 40 years ago – it was silver in colour and very small. Players who turn on a sixpence tend to have good technique and ‘quick feet’, that is, they move the ball quickly, while they also tend to have a low centre of gravity. Think of players like Messi, Maradona and Xavi – these players can easily turn on a sixpence.

Turn on a sixpence
  • Example:  The striker turned on a sixpence and left the defender for dead.

You can listen to one of our guests (Marie) talk about this cliche in this podcast from 2017.

If you have any ideas on some football phrases for our site, let us know by emailing us at admin@languagecaster.com

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

Football ClichesEpisode 701
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