The two famous football phrases – ‘squeaky bum time and ‘park the bus’ – coined by coaches Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. What do these terms mean and how did they make the cut?

The coming months are going to see a lot of football chatter, courtesy of the World Cup in Qatar. It’s time to brush up on your game lingo. Even the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is catching up. As part of its quarterly update, the dictionary has recognized two iconic football phrases given to us by two of its most influential managers – Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. Ferguson’s “squeaky bum time” and Mourinho’s “park the bus” are two of the 15 football-related terms that now find themselves in the dictionary.

“While the OED already covered a large number of football terms, from catenaccio to nutmeg to water carrier, this select batch of additions fills a few gaps in our formation,” 

The dictionary said in a statement.

What does “squeaky bum time” even mean?

The term was coined in 2003 at a media conference when Ferguson, then the coach of the football club Manchester United, was looking to pressure the team’s English Premier League (EPL) rival Arsenal.

“They have a replay against Chelsea and if they win it they would face a semifinal three days before playing us in the league,” 

“But then they did say they were going to win the treble, didn’t they? It’s squeaky bum time and we’ve got the experience now to cope.”

Said Ferguson.

The dictionary defines “squeaky bum time” as, “A particularly tense period of time, especially one leading up to the climax of a competition or event.” It is a “reference to the sound of someone shifting restlessly on plastic seating during tense closing stages of a contest.”

What about Mourinho’s “park the bus”?

Mourinho has managed several top European clubs including Real Madrid, United, Chelsea, and Tottenham, and is now the current coach of AS Roma. It was when he was with Chelsea during the 2004-2005 season that he first coined the phrase “parking the bus” while he was slamming Tottenham’s tactical set-up against his team.

According to OED, “park the bus” is “to play in a very defensive way, typically by having the majority of outfield players close to their own goal and showing little attacking intent.”

“As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal,”

“I would have been frustrated if I had been a supporter who paid £50 to watch this game because Spurs came to defend. I’m really frustrated because there was only one team looking to win, they only came not to concede. It’s not fair for the football we played.”

Mourinho said after Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Tottenham in 2004, reports CNN.

What other football terms have made the cut?

The other football-centric words and phrases that have been included in the latest update to the dictionary are total football (a brand of attacking, possession-based football often credited to the Netherlands), false nine (a player who starts in the striker position but drops deeper in the field), row Z (the furthest seat from the sideline in a stadium), and Trequartista (an Italian expression describing a player who plays in the spaces between the midfield and strikers), reports CNN.

Gegenpressing is another new entrant with is defined as a “style of play in which a team upon losing possession puts immediate and intensive pressure on the opposition, even deep in the opposition’s half, in an attempt to regain the ball at the earliest opportunity, prevent the opposing team from capitalizing on possession, and force mistakes in dangerous positions”. It is said to be favored by several German managers like Ralf Rangnick, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel reports Daily Mail.

Tiki-taka, top-scoring, outfield, over-the-top, zonal marking, Cruyff turn, Rabona, and Panenka are also now in the dictionary.

So how did these terms make it to the dictionary?

The OED has a “watch list” database, contributions to which come from several sources – the OED’s reading program, crowdsourcing appeals, and from automated monitoring and analysis of massive databases of language in use, the dictionary’s website says.

The editors at OED review these suggestions, and words, which are used widely, are assigned to an editor. They begin by looking at the information gathered for the assigned word before starting their research to trace its development. They turn to newspapers and magazines, online forums, studies, law tracts, recipe books, or social media for published evidence of the word. They can also seek the help of OED’s network of researchers, who are based at institutions around the world, to track down the elusive example, according to the website.

Once an editor has put together a detailed picture of the word, they begin to draft the dictionary entry to record it in the OED. For words that do have an existing entry, they start with the headword, which is the main word at the top of an entry, and include its pronunciation, forms, etymology, definition, example quotations, and more.

Apart from the word editor, there are pronunciation editors, who create the audio files, and bibliographers, who review the quotations to ensure that sources are cited accurately.

Once each of these teams okay the dictionary entry, it is passed on to the finalization team, which includes the chief and deputy chief editors. They are the ones who give the final go-ahead, says the OED website.

Source: Firstpost

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