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Learn the language of the street - what people say and the topics they like to talk about. Take a look at these sport words and phrases and then take the Lingo Challenge!
 Sport - Football more Lingo

  • Do you want to watch some footie? / the match? - Fancy going to watch football?
  • They really took a hammering. / took a thrashing. - They lost the game badly.
  • They're playing at home / away - The team is playing the match at their own ground. / at the opposing team's ground.
  • He lives and breathes the game! / Football's his life! / Football's in his blood! - He's a total football fanatic!






Going out





 Football commentators

  • He covers every blade of grass. - He's an energetic player.
  • He goes in where the boots are flying! - He's a player who is always at the centre of the action!
  • It's handbags at six paces! - There's a mild disagreement on the pitch [a reference to how women might flick their handbags at each other but not get into a serious argument].
  • He keeps it tight at the back. - The player makes sure the defence is well organised.
  • The keeper keeps a tight sheet. - The goalkeeper [goalie] doesn't let many goals in.
  • He's lethal in the air! - He'a good at using his head to hit the ball.
  • A netbuster - A powerful shot which is in danger of breaking the goal's net!
  • He teases the full back - He makes it difficult for the defence to get the ball!

 What you hear at the match

  • Lollipop! - Putting the ball through the goalie's legs.
  • Man / woman on! - A warning that a player is about to be tackled.
  • Keep it on the carpet! - Keep the ball on the pitch!
  • 'Who ate all the pies?' - This might be shouted to someone who looks overweight.
  • The ref needs specs!/Use your eyes, ref! - The referee needs glasses!

 Sporting metaphors used in news reporting

  • The starting gun has been fired. - [Athletics] A campaign has begun.
  • In a bunker - [Golf] In a difficult position (On a golf course, the bunkers are full of sand.)
  • To score an own goal - [Football] To act against your party; to accidentally score against your own team.
  • To have no stomach for a fight. - [Boxing] To have no energy for a confrontation.
  • The talks have reached stalemate. - [Chess] A situation where neither side in negotiation can progress.
  • It's not a level playing field. - [Football] If the pitch is not level, one side has an unfair advantage.
  • That'll be a photo finish. - [Horseracing] It's a very close finish.
 Lingo Challenge

Try using as many of these phrases as you can in a one-minute conversation! How many will you manage to use? Have fun!

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