Sir Alex Ferguson And Jose Mourinho Have Iconic Phrases Added To Dictionary

15 football-related terms have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary
11:23, 05 Oct 2022

Former Manchester United managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho have seen football phrases that they coined during their careers added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

A quarterly update from OED has seen an array of football-related terms added.


In their notes regarding the September update, they said: “There’s a World Cup kicking off in November, and while the OED already covered a large number of football terms, from catenaccio to nutmeg to water carrier, this select batch of fifteen additions fills a few gaps in our formation.”

Amongst the 15 new additions, phrases from both Ferguson and Mourinho have been recognised.

United legend Ferguson won 13 of the club’s 20 record league titles, all of which came in the Premier League era, but as well as silverware he delivered some great lines. His ‘squeaky bum time’ was first said in 2003 and is still used on a regular basis near the end of games or tournaments.

The official OED description reads: “A particularly tense period of time, esp. one leading up to the climax of a competition or event.”

The original quote from the Scotsman 19 years ago was: “They [Arsenal] have a replay against Chelsea and if they win it they would face a semi-final 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.”

Portuguese coach Mourinho has provided us with some gems himself over the years. His standout line was ‘park the bus’, which is now also included in the OED. He claimed that is what Spurs had done against his Chelsea team in 2004, playing in such a negative way that they might as well have put their team coach in the goalmouth. 

The new batch of footballing terms to enter the dictionary includes a few foreign words adopted by the English language, such as rabona, tiki-taka, gegenpressing and trequartista, while Panenka also makes the cut.

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