Football Language: Thick and Fast

Thick and FastIn this short football language post we explain the phrase ‘thick and fast‘ and how it is used in football. Check out our football glossary  and  football cliches pages for hundreds more explanations of the language of soccer. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Football Language: Thick and Fast

This phrase has two elements. Let’s start with the first, ‘thick.Thick‘ is a word that has been used to describe a forest with many tress for centuries. A ‘thick‘ forest is a dense grouping of tress, standing close together. Over time, this description was used in other contexts, for example to describe an opposing army: the field was thick with soldiers

The second part of the phrase refers to time and means time is passing quickly or the days are coming fast. So, together in football, the phrase ‘thick and fast‘ means in large numbers and quickly. The phrase is most often used to describe a lot of matches, or fixtures, and means that a team has to play a lot more games than usual in a short period of time – the matches are ‘thick’ and the dates are coming ‘fast’.

You are most likely to hear it when pundits or journalists talk about  managers complaining that their teams have to play too many games in a short time. A typical period is December in England, especially over Christmas and New Year, when the games come thick and fast.< Another phrase to describe this situation of a lot of games in a short period is fixture pile up.

Here is an example from a headline in the Peterborough Telegraph (UK): ‘Peterborough United are coming to the boil at just the right time as matches are coming thick and fast.’

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here. If you have any suggestions, contact us at

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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