THE GUARDIAN’S FIVER-isms: A Glossary for Glazey-Eyed

London’s THE GUARDIAN online newspaper has a magnificently acerbic column by Barrry Glendenning, Sean Ingle, Paul Doyle, Tom Bryant, Scott Murray and Tom Lutz called “The Fiver”. A fiver usually refers to a five-pound note, but this fiver is probably called that as it is e-mailed to subscribers every day at 5 p.m. Nice.

I typed this up in MSWord and the auto-editor went crazy filling in red and green wavy lines everywhere. Ha! Auto-editor, you suck. At the end of the day, there’s nothing like the human eye to discern right and wrong. Auto-editor and spellcheck have no intuition. Even grammar-check is the equivalent of a 1st year English teacher who goes by the textbook and nowt else. (There are way too many of those out there.)


“Mr. 15%” – a player’s manager. Rarely spoken of with a positive connotation.

EXAMPLE: Christiano Ronaldo’s Mr. 15% assures Sir Alex that “the gelled one” is happy to graze at ManUre for another year.

Big Vase – The UEFA Champion’s League trophy which looks essentially like a …

Big Paper – THE GUARDIAN itself, I think. Usually referred to in contrast to its subsidiaries or departments.

Big Cup – THE UEFA Champion’s League final. Takes place in late May after 9 months of World Cup-style elimination play. Sometimes not even the best game. In the last 4 years or so, the quarters and semis have been more exciting than the heavily risk-aversive finals.

Big Cup Big Day – the day of the Champion’s League final. The most important game after the World Cup final, but that’s up for debate these days. For the last two years, I would have it on in my classroom tv and tape it at home. Next year, I’m taking that day off to watch it at home from beginning to end. ESPN needs to get their shit together and show the entire post-game festivities, thank you very much!

Fiver Lawyers – in essence, the censors. They make their presence felt: SEE "snip-snip-snip"

Snip-snip-snip – Fiver Lawyers: censored information; usually something very personal or obscene or something that is being swept under the carpet so as not to be libelous even though it’s true.

Knack — injury

Knack-prone – injury-prone

Toe-knack/knee-knack: i.e. David Beckham and Michael Owen; possibly Rooney, too.

Knacked up (make sure it’s got an “a” in it!) – injured

EXAMPLE: Petr Cech suffered a horrendous head-knack!

“bits and bobs” – alliterative cuteness indicating small chunks of information like gossip, rumors, comments, etc.

“on a free” – a free transfer. Refers to the Bosman Ruling where if a player has finished his contract with a team, he can go to another team and they don’t have to pay any transfer money for him. Synonym: “on a Bosman”.  This phrase not exclusive to the column; sort of common.

EXAMPLE: “Michael Owen has gone to Manchester United on a free now that his contract with Newcastle has expired.”

“a medical” – a medical exam on a player done by the organization he’s about to join.  Mandatory prior to finalizing contracts.

pundit – sports critic/writer, perhaps even a broadcaster; often with a sarcastic, demeaning, or otherwise negative connotation.

hack – a lousy pundit

“to neck” – to swallow something; literally or metaphorically

"He" with a capital “H” – Christiano Ronaldo (for now)

EXAMPLE:  Such was the hoop-la generated by His unveiling at the Bernabéu. (Fiver, 7 July)

"At [His] request – who has again expressed [His] desire to leave – and after discussion with [His] representatives, United have agreed to give [Them] permission to talk to [Him],"


World Soccer Daily

The Guardian>Football>The Fiver

Fox Sports/Soccer

ESPN Soccernet

Previous mention of The Fiver

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: