Anyone for tennis?

Saltie

Senior Member
Russian, Russia, Sochi
Hi!
It's from a school textbook.

'Wimbledon
Anyone for tennis? Every June, the world's oldest and most famous tennis championship takes place in Wimbledon in London. ...'

What does 'Anyone for tennis' mean? My guesses:
(1) It's a challenge or an invitation, like 'Is there anyone who would like to have a game of tennis right now?'
(2) It means 'Is there anyone who likes tennis?'
 
  • Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Anyone for tennis?" in British English is a very hackneyed set phrase.

    It's an invitation that translates roughly as: "Would any of you like to play tennis now?" So your number (1).

    It is NOT asking if they like to play tennis in general.

    I don't know when this phrase was first used or became widely known.

    It is really a verbal caricature that creates the image of someone, perhaps a fanatic, already kitted out ready for a game.

    Nowadays, it is only used in a humorous way.
     

    Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    I think this Wikipedia article might help you:

    Anyone for tennis? - Wikipedia

    It's a phrase used more as a cliché now, though, with less regard to its original reference to upper class leisure - newspaper writers, in their infinite lack of imagination, trot out the phrase whenever tennis is mentioned.
     
    Last edited:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    According to Wikipedia, the phrase is thought to stem from the line "Anybody on for a game of tennis?" in a 1914 play by George Bernard Shaw. Seems entirely plausible…
     
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