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Giant killer: The English We Speak

Feifei: This is The English We Speak
I’m Feifei.
Rob: And hello, I’m Rob. Hey, Feifei.
Did you see the match last night?
Feifei: The match? No, Rob.
I had better things to do!
Rob: Oh, you should have done.
My local team beat Manchester United
3-0! It was a giant-killing!
Feifei: Well I’m glad I didn’t watch it – who
wants to see giants being killed?
Rob: Feifei, nobody was killed and
there were no real giants.
The giant is the team that
is usually stronger, more powerful
or skilful than the other team –
and the killing happens
when the weaker or less skilful team
beats them. And that’s what
happened last night.
It was brilliant!
Feifei: I see. So a giant-killing describes
a situation when a weaker or less skilful
person or team beats a stronger or
more skilful opponent.
Rob: Yep. And we call the winning team
‘giant killers’ – so my team can
be called ‘giant killers’!
Feifei: So is this phrase used
for sporting competitions?
Rob: Yes it is. It’s not just used
in football – although the giant-killing
in the game last
night was amazing! I mean, did
I mention the score was 3-0?
Feifei: OK calm down, Rob. Let’s hear
some other examples
of the phrase ‘giant-killing’…
We’re celebrating our village
cricket team’s giant-killing over
a professional county team!
There was a giant-killing at
the tennis match today – a brand new
player beat the third-seeded
player in straight sets!
The non-league team have become
giant killers in the FA Cup – they could go
all the way to the final.
Feifei: This is The English We Speak from
BBC Learning English and
we’re hearing about
the sporting expression ‘giant-killing’ –
that’s when a strong or skilful player or
team is beaten by a less strong opponent.
The winners are called ‘giant killers’.
So a giant-killing is quite an achievement?
Rob: It sure is. It’s unexpected but
it’s great when it happens.
Feifei: I understand, Rob – it comes as a
surprise because you’re so used to losing!
Rob: Never mind, Feifei. If you’re not
a football fan, you’ll never understand.
Feifei: Hmm, I suppose this programme is
a bit like a giant killing.
Rob: Why’s that then?
Feifei: The weaker, less skilful presenter
beats the stronger, more skilful presenter
by getting more lines to stay in the script.
Rob: Errr, I don’t think so, Feifei.
You always have more to say.
Feifei: That’s true. Now, isn’t it your turn
to make the tea?
Rob: OK, if you say so. See you later.
Feifei: Ha! 1-0 to me. Bye.
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