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Llevado por una sociedad en continua evolución, el lenguaje se transforma para incorporar, paulatinamente, nuevas construcciones: vocablos, giros, modismos, dichos, locuciones… En este contexto, el mundo del deporte —y de modo destacado, el fútbol— influye decisivamente en el modo en que el que se expresa esta sociedad de masas a la que pertenecemos. Como resultado, la alegoría de lo deportivo se ha convertido en una forma dominante de la simbología social. De ahí que, formas de expresión como “casarse de penalti”, “estar en fuera de juego”, “chupar rueda”, “devolver la pelota”, “estar contra las cuerdas”, “recoger el testigo”, “sudar la camiseta”, “arrojar la toalla”, o “echar balones fuera”, estén del todo asumidas y sean utilizadas en cada esfera de la vida cotidiana.

El lenguaje, como sistema vivo, actúa de referente a esta sociedad globalizada, quien se encarga de poner en la calle expresiones que, en poco tiempo, estarán de moda; realidad común a todas las culturas. Por eso, y con intención de no burlar las “reglas del juego”, en el apartado gramatical que sigue nos adentraremos en las aportaciones lingüísticas del inglés inspiradas en el deporte.

Fuentes: CSD – Deporte y lenguaje (E.T. García Molina)

Sports are such a part of our everyday lives that it is no surprise that some idioms that are sports related have become commonplace in our language. There are some that are so common that most people might not even realise that they come from the field of sports. Let’s take a look at some of them.

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Down and Out – To be lacking money or prospects. This idiom comes from boxing. It literally means that a boxer has been knocked down and then counted out by the referee. In everyday use though it means that a person has been having a bad run of luck with regards to money or job prospects.

For example – You can always find out who your real friends are when you are down and out.

A Low blow – An unscrupulous or unfair attack. This also is an idiom from boxing. Another way to say this is “hitting below the belt”. It is an illegal low punch outside of the legal hitting zone. You would normally use this when describing the actions of someone who has hurt you by saying something that may be true but is not relevant to the matter at hand.

For example – Why are you bringing up my failed marriage? That is a low blow.

Par for the course – What was expected. This idiom comes from golf. When you shoot the required number of shots on a particular hole, you are said to have made par. If you make the required number of shots for the entire round, you have made par for the course. But we use it in everyday English to mean that what happened seems like the right thing or at the very least what we expected to happen.

For example – I had another bad date last night, but at this point in time that is pretty much par for the course.

Drop the gloves – To engage in a fight, whether verbal or physical. This comes from Ice Hockey, when players choose to fight and the remove their gloves to fight bare knuckled. In common use you would say that someone has dropped the gloves when they get serious in an argument or indeed in an actual fight.

For example – During the presidential debate, Donald Trump eventually decided to drop the gloves and attack Hillary Clinton personally.

Drop the ball – To make a mistake or disappoint people. This comes from many different ball games such as Rugby and American Football. Obviously when your objective is to hold onto the ball, dropping the ball is a bad thing. When we use it during our day it might refer to the fact that someone was given a task to perform and they either failed or they made a big mistake.

For example – We trusted you to finalise the deal with them but you seem to have really dropped the ball on that one.

So as you can see there are many idioms that have their roots in sports. There are many more that we use every day that we will look at in a forthcoming blog.


K. Charles

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