handbags at ten paces

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handbags at ten paces

A confrontation or disagreement that is highly aggressive, emotionally expressive, and/or highly dramatic, but which does not end or result in violence. Used originally and primarily in reference to football (soccer) players, who would be sent off if they engaged in violent actions, the phrase is a play on the clichéd "pistols at ten paces," indicating a forthcoming pistol duel. Primarily heard in UK. It was handbags at ten paces between the two players, who had been verbally taunting one another throughout the match.
See also: handbag, pace, ten
References in periodicals archive ?
antics of the political playground, interspersed with a few skirmishes of handbags at 10 paces.
The incident with the players was handbags at 10 paces and then we got involved.
Sometimes far-off, then the next track's right there and in your face, but with this fuzzy rock pop is never more threatening than handbags at 10 paces.
It was handbags at 10 paces when theses two minced it up during a 3-0 loss to Villa last term.
Oh dear, handbags at 10 paces in the heat of the African bush.
With 13 minutes left Ian Roper, already on a yellow card, got embroiled in some handbags at 10 paces and copped a red, which will mean he starts next season with a suspension.
No punches were actually thrown - in football parlance it was more like handbags at 10 paces - but Oxford boss Wagstaff stumbled to the floor at one stage as he tried to mediate between Billy Janniro, Pedersen and Pratt.
RICKY Tomlinson and Cilla Black's handbags at 10 paces dispute about who is the Professional Scouser has been entirely in keeping with the panto season.
THE first derby between these clubs never quite lived up to the pre-match hype - instead of the Battle of the Midlands it was more handbags at 10 paces.
Handbags at 10 paces for saloon gal Joan Crawford and home-steader Mercedes McCambridge in this laughably solemn cult film, made by people with no understanding of Westerns.
Now that El-Hadji Diouf has signed for Rangers, I reckon Sunday's clash at Ibrox will make those other conflicts look like handbags at 10 paces.