handbags at ten paces

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 ?
It was handbags at ten paces on the touchline but Sandy should look at people in his own club.
It was handbags at ten paces," said Luton's boss Lenny Lawrence, who agreed with Little that Rennison had been unlucky.
By and large, though, it was gruelling, bone-chilling stuff which took an unpleasant turn late on with some handbags at ten paces and one savage, bizarrely unpunished, lunging tackle by Ian Brightwell on Andrew Johnson.
The pitch is certainly ready for planned drainage work, the football was more grunt than grace and the 16-man outbreak of handbags at ten paces just before half-time was a bit unedifying.
I can see the headlines now for the Woman Bashing Championship of the World: "Colly versus Gazza - handbags at ten paces.
While one can sympathise with the player caught retaliating when the original miscreant gets away with the original foul, it's about time the posturing prima donnas who respond with handbags at ten paces were properly punished.
Schmeichel and Wright is more than handbags at ten paces.
I still can't believe it - Chris and I shoved Macca but it was handbags at ten paces.
While this amusing tEte e tEte between two grown men appears little more than handbags at ten paces, there is no doubt that wherever one stands on the integrity of the football business, the sport itself is responsible for generating billions of pounds for businesses and products associated with it.
From then on, it was apparently a case of handbags at ten paces - with City's self-styled 'dog of war' protesting his innocence at all times.
GOALDEN MOMENT: David Beckham congratulates Andy Cole after the striker had put United ahead; WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE: IT'S Handbags at ten paces at Highfield Road yesterday while (right) Richard Shaw and Andy Cole put heir heads together
Three minutes later the winger and United striker Nigel Jemson were both booked when they became involved in a handbags at ten paces skirmish.
Ex-Blues striker Paul Devlin lost his cool and got involved in handbags at ten paces with the giant former Derby stopper - humerous stuff when Devlin was the shorter of the two by at least a foot.
There was always going to be tension but from where I was it was handbags at ten paces.
HIT was handbags at ten paces in the Wimbledon paddock on Tuesday night as a senior member of stadium staff squared up to a visiting London-track trainer in a furious row over pre-racing Derby trial allocations.