Win a game by complaining non-stop [idiom for this?]

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I'd like to know if there is an expression for the situation below.


In sports, especially soccer, there are times when players from a team complain and put pressure on the referee so they can obtain an advantage in the game. These players whine, complain, simulate situations so they can persuade people and the referee to give them and advantage. Do you know any expressions?

Person 1: Hey, it's a foul!
Person 2: No, it's not a foul. We're playing fair. You're trying to win by complaining non-stop. You know this will give you an advantage.



Thank you in advance!
 
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Sorry to disappoint you, Xavier, but there isn't a single word I can think of other than "whiner," which you suggested, to describe this behavior.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    While waiting for more informed replies, I'd look into 'hustle'. The definitions I had in mind (from AHD):

    v.intr. Slang To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means.
    v.tr. Slang To pressure into doing something: a barfly hustling the other customers for drinks.

    These are some (of the rather few) Google Web instances of 'hustle the referee':

    Xavi is a twat. Fantastic player, but a twat. Always has something to say to the media, always the first to hustle the referee and complain. (source)
    Ooh but your forgetting that when Barcelona bully and hustle the referee for the entire 90 mins and throw themselves on the floor at the mere hint of contact its beautiful, wonderful, magical, enchanting etc etc etc. (source)
    ...whining everytime they fall - they hustle the referee for yellow cards and free kicks... (source)
     
    Last edited:

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    EStjarn's quotations seem to refer to football/soccer, which, at least until recently, has not been among the most commonly played (or watched) sports in the U.S. In most other U.S. sports complaining to a referee or umpire gains little advantage and might lead to a swift expulsion from the game.
     

    Grady412

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Sorry, I don't see the connection between the question and U.S. sports.

    I agree with EStjarn here: it's common to call that type of whining "hustling the referee."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I confess, I haven't heard of "hustling the referee":(.

    That may be because I''m not a fan of football....
     
    Last edited:

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Searched Google for "hustling the referee" with domain set to .uk : 1 hit.
    Searched Google for "haranguing the referee" with domain set to .uk :1300 hits.

    I watch a fair bit of football (soccer) in the stadium and on television, and "hustling the referee" sounds unfamiliar to me.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    sound shift said:
    Searched Google for "hustling the referee" with domain set to .uk : 1 hit.
    Searched Google for "haranguing the referee" with domain set to .uk :1300 hits.
    Google definitely favors 'haranguing'. But I wonder: would 'haranguing' include the activity of simulating situations (see post 1)? (If not, it seems catlady's 'working the referee' would be the most fitting and widely used expression thus far.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    (If not, it seems catlady's 'working the referee' would be the most fitting and widely used expression thus far.)
    Maybe, ESTjarn. Perhaps it depends on whether Xavier is looking for a BrE phrase or an AmE one. I confess: "working the referee" means nothing to me....
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top