World Cup

The big world of football is once again upon us. Teams from all over the world are making their way to Russia in preparation for the greatest show on earth – The World Cup.
Globally, people are stocking their fridges with beer and snacks, arranging their lives around all the fixtures and generally getting excited at the prospect of witnessing the art of football in all its glory.
Football is extraordinarily popular in Britain and, as such, in the English language there are many football-related slang words or idioms that people use daily, whether they are interested in football or not.
Here are some popular phrases and expressions:-

To score an own goal

To do something which unintentionally harms one’s own interests.
E.g. “He scored an own goal when he fired Susan. He’ll never find another manager as good as her”.


To keep one’s eye on the ball

To give your complete attention to a particular activity or environment.
E.g. “We must keep our eye on the ball if we want to make this project work”.


To kick something off

To launch or start something.
E.g. “Don’t be late. The party kicks off at 10pm”.


To know the score

To be aware of the essential facts of a situation.
E.g. “I don’t have to explain my problem to her, she knows the score”.


To move the goalposts.

To unfairly change the rules or conditions during a procedure.
E.g. “Andres thought he was ready to apply for his work visa, but now they have moved the goalposts again. They now want a higher level of English”.


A game changer

A new idea or event that creates a significant shift to the current way of doing or thinking about something.
E.g. “The new funding will be a game changer for us”.


A game plan

A planned strategy.
E.g. “Have a game plan ready before you go into the meeting”.


To watch from the sidelines

A position where someone is observing a situation rather than being directly involved in it

E.g. ‘Harry was taken off the project, because he was watching from the sidelines rather than getting involved”.



A class or category of quality or excellence.

E.g. ‘Kate is so intelligent and good looking. She’s absolutely out of my league’.


To take sides

To support one person or cause against another or others in a dispute or contest.

E.g. “I refuse to take sides in this argument, you will have to work this one out yourself”.


To blow the whistle on someone

To bring an illicit activity to an end by informing on the person responsible.

E.g. “It looks like they fired her because she threatened to blow the whistle on their illegal activities”.


A political football

Something which is the subject of continual political controversy or change.
E.g. “Education is a political football. Every time a new government is elected they change everything”.



World Cup – Football Idioms
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