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Thread: playing away

  1. #1
    english-kazan is offline Junior Member
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    Default playing away

    Heard it a couple of times to mean "to cheat on your partner" as in "Tell him I was playing away". Is this use common? Dictionaries seem to ignore this use completely.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: playing away

    Quote Originally Posted by english-kazan View Post
    Heard it a couple of times to mean "to cheat on your partner" as in "Tell him I was playing away". Is this use common? Dictionaries seem to ignore this use completely.
    I was surprised not to find this listed in the dictionary of slang/colloquialisms. It's frequently used to mean cheating on your partner, yes.

    He's been playing away.
    She's playing away from home.

    It's based on the football term where a team plays a match in another city. If they play the match in their own city, at their own stadium it's a home game, or they play at home. If they travel for a match, they play away [from home].

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    english-kazan is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: playing away

    Yeah, I knew about the football meaning, so I worked it out myself, but the dictionaries... Calling themselves lexicographers, my backside! (as they prefer to put it in soaps)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: playing away

    In the US, we'd say she was "playing around" on him. I don't believe I've heard "playing away" to mean cheating.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: playing away

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In the US, we'd say she was "playing around" on him. I don't believe I've heard "playing away" to mean cheating.
    I think we use "playing around" to mean generally promiscuous. Someone might be cheating on someone by playing around with lots of other people! We'd also use "messing around" to mean cheating.

    It might just be me, but "playing away" suggests that someone is specifically having an affair with one other person, whereas "playing around" might mean that they are, for example, going out every Saturday night and having lots of one night stands!

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    Default Re: playing away

    Hmm. I think we might use "playing around" both ways here. The "playing away" is new for me though. I'll know what it means if I see it/read it in a BrE source now.

    Thanks.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: playing away

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Hmm. I think we might use "playing around" both ways here. The "playing away" is new for me though. I'll know what it means if I see it/read it in a BrE source now.

    Thanks.
    A little off topic (though slightly connected!) and out of curiosity, what's the phrase in the USA for a sports team when they travel to play a game in a different city? In the UK, it's called an "away game" or an "away match", as opposed to a "home game". Hence the phrase "Manchester United are playing away this weekend".

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    Default Re: playing away

    It's definitely an "away game."

    It doesn't sound natural to me to say "Oh, they are playing away this weekend." I think we'd just say "They're playing in/at Seattle." Or maybe "They have an away series for the next four days."

    I'll have to pay attention to the sports section in the news now.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: playing away

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In the US, we'd say she was "playing around" on him. I don't believe I've heard "playing away" to mean cheating.
    Incidentally, I heard the presenter at the BAFTA ceremony last night (British Association...) using 'playing away' in the sexual infidelity sense. So I assume there won't be any similar jokes at the Oscars.

    The joke - for the record (and by way of an excuse for using another common expression) - went down 'like a lead balloon'.

    b

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