handbags at ten paces

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handbags at ten paces

A confrontation or disagreement that is highly aggressive, emotionally expressive, or 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"There was no way that anyone tried to throw ahead at each other, they were just headto-head giving each other the eyeballs, handbags at 10 paces. But he is a really good player and super talented boy."
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.
And what happened between me and Owen Coyle was 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 ?Tussle did not amount to much WALKING THE PLANK Sean Quigley gets marching orders against Cavan on Saturday s