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 seemed to be handbags at ten paces and that's why I went onto the pitch to try and calm things down.
Should precious police time be spent investigating two beastie boy footballers swinging handbags at ten paces?
He said: ``All that happened was handbags at ten paces and a frank exchange of views.''
WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE: Handbags at ten paces as jackie McNamara and Shota Arveladze square up; FIGHTING MAD: It's all hands on deck as hostilities erupt again during the Old Firm match at Ibrox
PRICELESS piece of handbags at ten paces between Everton manager David Moyes and referee Jeff Winter.
This looked like handbags at ten paces compared to what Boring Goring did to Keltic Heritage at Exeter in November where, despite coming close to being put into Tattersalls enclosure, Keltic Heritage did not even get the race on an appeal to the Jockey Club.
No doubt about the guidelines but it did look like proverbial handbags at ten paces!
TWO Midland men were armed with knives during an incident in a block of flats described as "handbags at ten paces".
A serious case of handbags at ten paces ensued, which resulted in cautions fro Smith, Iwelumo and Ian Roper.
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.
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.