Weekly Football Phrase: Handbags

handbagsFor this week’s English for football phrase languagecaster brings you the expression ‘handbags‘. Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below and listening to the audio. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here. This post also features in our podcast show, along with a main report and our weekly predictions.

Subscribe: Weekly Football Phrase


Every now and then you will hear a commentator say something like, ‘It’s just a bit of handbags‘. What does this phrase mean? It is used to describe a situation where two or more players are pushing and shoving each other, jostling, usually after a bad tackle. ‘It’s only handbags‘ means that the argument or fight is not serious and no-one should worry that it will become violent. The handbags is a reference to the woman’s accessory and is used to imply that the players are fighting like women, in other words, not seriously. Many people believe the phrase is a corruption of ‘pistols at 10 paces’, a phrase describing the practice of duelling with guns, becoming ‘handbags at 10 paces’ and later just handbags.  Handbags

Find 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.

Hosted by

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!
Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Football GlossaryEpisode 472