This week, introduces the English for football phrase ‘thrills and spills. You can understand more about this phrase by reading the transcript below. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here, while you can also visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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Thrills and spills

On this week’s English for football we look at the phrase thrills and spills. This is used to describe a particularly exciting match where lots of incidents have taken place. Thrills is the plural noun form of the adjective thrilling so it means exciting while spills suggests that something has gone wrong or that there is a mess so in footballing terms there have been many defensive errors like penalty misses or own goals. In the recent FA Cup 3rd round replay between Havant and Swansea the game was end-to-end, an incident-packed match that had many thrills and spills. Managers often do not like games that have lots of thrills and spills because it means there is a lack of control but for fans these types of games are exciting!

Example: ‘…this Lampard project with its thrills and spills and faith in academy graduates but they cannot have enjoyed what happened next.’ (Daily Mail 31 August 2019)



Football Language Glossary

Check out more football phrases by visiting our huge glossary page, where you can find hundreds of words, phrases and cliches connected to the world of football. If there is a phrase you need explaining send us a comment or email and we will try to explain it for you.

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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Football ClichesEpisode 20