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The meaning and origin of the expression: Starter for ten

Starter for ten

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Starter for ten'?

The phrase "Starter for ten" is commonly used to imply that an idea or concept needs further development.

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How to use this phrase

"Starter for ten" is correctly used to suggest that a topic should receive more discussion or thought. It's a way of acknowledging an idea or a point made by someone, but also hinting that it's not fully formed or complete. For instance, in a brainstorming session, if someone presents a preliminary idea, you might respond with:-

That’s a real Starter for ten, but let’s explore it further.

Origin of "Starter for ten"

The meaning and origin of the expression 'Starter for ten'
Starter for ten was first used
in the UK game show "University Challenge"

The origin of "Starter for ten" traces back to the UK game show "University Challenge". In this show, contestants are presented with a starter question followed by nine others. The starter question is worth ten points, hence the term "Starter for ten." This format is particularly popular in the UK and has led to the phrase being adopted in everyday language, especially in UK and Australian English. The usage of the term has expanded, partly due to social media, where it is often used to indicate that a subject is up for discussion.

Phrase trend in print

Here we see the frequency of the phrase "Starter for ten" in printed sources over time.

Trend of Starter for ten
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