" On the village green, where you pick up sides and no feeling of local patriotism is involved, it is possible to play simply for the fun and exercise." (GEORGE ORWELL The sporting spirit)
What does "pick up sides" mean?
George, I don't think so....Perhaps Orwell got it wrong.
Recent A tours haven't done English cricket much use as the opponents have usually been pick-up sides with little sense of unity or purpose, but this will be a real competition.
Out of interest - and because it could be relevant - what's the implication of the "up" in choose up?
Sorry if I was confusing. I was just comparing Orwell's verb "pick up" with the adjective "pick-up" as support for my suggestion that the verb probably contained the idea of "without planning" or "ad hoc"....I wouldn't think he's using "pick up sides" to mean "pick-up sides" which I presume are sides that are "picked up" by choosing sides, if you catch my meaning. If he were, there would be no "you" in front of it and it would resemble the other quoted passage: "... the opponents have usually been pick-up sides ..."