Hard: A Dark Horse
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 a dark horse.
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: a dark horse.
Jack: A dark horse is an idiom which has two main meanings; one that we can use in connection with football and another which can be used in more general contexts.
Rich: Let’s start with the meaning of dark horse that is often used in football and in other competitions and races.
Jack: A dark horse is a person or team that is taking part in a competition who surprises everyone by winning.
Rich: When Leicester City won the Premier League a few seasons ago they were dark horses.
Jack: Nobody gave them a chance of winning - it was very unexpected.
Rich: We often predict who might be a dark horse before a competition starts.
Jack: Liverpool and Manchester City are probably favourites to win the Premier League this season. My dark horses are Everton.
Rich: Here Jack is predicting that Everton have a chance of winning the league. He thinks if any other team is going to surprise the rest it will be Everton.
Jack: Who are your dark horses?
Rich: My dark horses are Tottenham. I think they have a real chance and are going to score lots of goals.
Jack: We speak about dark horses in all sports and also in other races such as elections.
Rich: Yes, we could speak about people who have unexpectedly become President.
Jack: The phrase originally comes from horse racing and it was used to speak about a horse that nobody knew about so it was difficult to bet money on it.
Rich: There is another meaning of dark horse. It can be used to describe someone who hides their talent or doesn’t tell people that they are really good at a specific thing.
Jack: My brother is a bit of a dark horse.
Rich: Why’s that?
Jack: He had a trial at Manchester United when he was younger. He was a really good footballer but he doesn’t tell anybody about it these days.
Rich: My sister’s a bit of a dark horse. We went on holiday together to France a couple of summer’s ago. I remember when we got to the campsite she just started speaking fluent French. I was gobsmacked.
Rich: I didn’t even know she spoke French. She never studied it at school but has been learning it for years. She never told me.
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.
Who do you think could be this season's dark horse?