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Every 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.
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This week’s English for Football phrase is ‘to spare your blushes‘. This phrase can be broken down into two parts: To spare which here means to prevent and blushes which is a word used to describe someone turning red in the face due to embarrassment. So, when we put these two together the phrase spare your blushes means to prevent embarrassment. In football this is used when a team that is heavily expected to win struggles to do so until the very end of the game and this is what happened with Scotland in their game against minnows Liechtenstein. Trailing 0-1 the Scots came back to win in the 97th minute thanks to a goal from Stephen McManus which spared his team’s blushes. To spare your blushes.