Football Language: Wipe the floor with
In this football language post we explain the expression ‘to wipe the floor (with)’ which is used when one team thrashes another team. Don’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary and we also have a page full of football cliches. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a team wipes the floor with another team it means that they have easily defeated or beaten them. The phrase suggests that the winning team is so much better than their opponents and that there is a real gap in ability between the two sides and maybe even a sense of humiliation because one team is so much superior to the other. Other phrases with a similar meaning include, ‘to trounce‘ or ‘to thrash‘ which both mean to inflict a heavy defeat on an opponent, while the phrase, ‘comprehensive defeat‘ is another way of describing the heavy loss.
It is interesting to note the construction of the phrase: Team A wipes the floor with Team B – so, Tottenham wiped the floor with Burnley means that they easily defeated Burnley: the stronger team will come first in this structure.
- Example: More trouble for Graham Potter as Tottenham wipe the floor with Chelsea (Metro.co.uk 27 Feb 2023)
- Example: Celtic wipe the floor with creaking Kilmarnock as Yuki Kobayashi catches the eye (Daily Record 16 April 2023)
- Example: ‘They fought well against Nottingham Forest but lost late on. Crystal Palace beat them 1-0 on the opening day but wiped the floor with them, it wasn’t a close 1-0. (Chris Sutton on BBC.co.uk 27 August 2023)
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