Weekly English for Football Phrase: To draw a blank

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Weekly Football PhraseEvery week during the 2010-11 season, the languagecaster team explain a football phrase or cliché for learners of English who love the sport. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase and you can also read the transcript below that. You can find many more examples by going to our football phrase page here football clichés here and our huge football glossary here.

Listen here: To draw a blank.mp3


This week’s English for football is ‘to draw a blank‘. This phrase originates in 17th century Britain and is a kind of lottery. Tickets were picked out of a pot. Some were winning tickets and had the name of the prize written on them, some had nothing written on them – they were blank and you won nothing. Another verb meaning to pick or choose something out of a pot for example is, to draw. So to draw a blank meant to win nothing, to not be successful. In football a team or a player can draw a blank, meaning they cannot score, they get no goals. This week in the Champions League, Manchester United drew a blank against Marseilles, they didn’t score and the game ended 0-0.

To draw a blank

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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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