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Anyone for tennis?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Saltie, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Saltie

    Saltie Senior Member

    Russian, Russia, Sochi
    It's from a school textbook.

    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?'
  2. 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.
  3. Dretagoto

    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: Oct 17, 2017
  4. lingobingo

    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…
  5. Saltie

    Saltie Senior Member

    Russian, Russia, Sochi
  6. Dretagoto

    Dretagoto Senior Member

    Inglés británico

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