Hard: Couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo
Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms.
Learn more football vocabulary with Premier Skills English. Each lesson in our Premier Vocabulary section looks at one football word or phrase. This lesson looks at the phrase couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo.
You can find more lessons on the side of this page.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to Premier Skills English - Premier Vocabulary.
Jack: Hi there! I’m Jack. We’re here to help you with your football English.
Rich: Remember you can find transcripts for all of our podcasts on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time.
Rich: We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
Jack: This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms. These phrases can be used to talk about football but are often useful when talking about other topics.
Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is: couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo.
Jack: Sorry, can you repeat that phrase again, please?
Rich: He couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo. It’s honestly one of my favourite football phrases.
Jack: It’s not a football phrase. You’ve just made it up.
Rich: I haven’t, honestly.
Jack: Really? What does he couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo mean then?
Rich: Well, imagine that you’ve got a banjo - it’s an instrument in the shape of a guitar with strings and ...
Jack: Yes, thanks I know what a banjo is. I can play a bit if you like.
Rich: No, you’re all right.
Jack: And I know what a barndoor is. It’s the door to a barn - a building you get on farms where you put animals or hay and things.
Rich: That’s right.
Jack: So …
Rich: Well a barn door is really big, isn’t it?
Jack: Yes, so?
Rich: And it would be really easy to get a banjo and hit it against a barn door, wouldn’t it?
Jack: Yes it would if you had a banjo. But what’s the football connection?
Rich: The barn door is the goal and the banjo is the ball.
Jack: Oh, I see - it’s a metaphor. If we say a player couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo we’re saying that they can’t do something that’s really easy to do.
Rich: Yeah, exactly. We use it to describe strikers mainly. Strikers that never score or don’t even hit the target. When a player misses we say ‘he couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo today’.
Jack: Well you say he couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo, I don’t. I think it’s silly. I prefer to say something like ‘he’s having a bad day at the office’.
Rich: Now that is silly.
Jack: There is the final whistle!
Rich: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
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