Hard: Run rings around someone
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 to run rings around somebody.
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. 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.
Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is: to run rings around someone.
Jack: To run rings around someone is an idiom which is used to describe being much better at something than someone else.
Rich: I used to run rings around my son at chess.
Jack: You used to run rings around him? He’s only ten.
Rich: Yeah, he’s already better than me. He’s running around me now. He always wins.
Jack: The phrase originally comes from horse racing and was used to describe one horse that ran around the ring much faster than the others.
Rich: The phrase is used in sport a lot when one player or team is far better than another. Liverpool have run rings around their opponents this season.
Jack: You’re right. Another example might be: the United midfield ran rings around the Arsenal players today.
Rich: This would probably mean that the United midfield was in total control and the Arsenal players hardly had any possession of the football.
Jack: The phrase also conjures up the idea that the person who has rings around them is made to look a little foolish or silly.
Rich: I might not want to play sport against a professional because he or she would run rings around me.
Jack: I might not want to a live political debate with an experienced politician because he or she would run rings around me.
Rich: In both of these cases we are worried that we would look a bit silly because the other person can do something far better.
Jack: To run rings around someone. To be much better at doing something than someone else.
Rich: There is the final whistle!
Jack: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Has anyone ever ran rings around you?
Which players can run rings around defenders?