phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Handbags at ten paces

Posted by Bob on April 10, 2001

In Reply to: Handbags at ten paces posted by Bruce Kahl on April 10, 2001

: : What does this mean? We are looking for slogans and sayings with the number ten in to celebrate our schools tenth anniversary. Any more ideas?

: I saw your phrase on dozens of UK websites dealing with soccer and or football.
: From the context of the sites, I think your phrase means a heated disagreement leading to mild fisticuffs.

The traditional ritual that was an invitation to a duel had one man challenging another, and then the challenged one was asked to "choose your weapons" ... to which the reply is "pistols at 20 paces" or some such. This jocular twist on that reply contrasts the "manly" choice of real dueling weapons with the "girlish" act of hitting each other with purses. It's a lame joke, and a bit dated. Make of it what you will. Also, as kids, we would use "creampuffs at 20 paces" in the same vein. You may want to pick a fight, but I'm not going to engage in anything dangerous.