Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms related to Boxing

throw in the towel

throw in the towel

also throw in the sponge

Meaning:

  • to quit
  • to admit defeat or failure
  • to fail
  • to give up
  • to concede (a match, a duel, a bout, etc.)
  • (of boxers or their seconds) throw a towel (or sponge) into the ring as a token of defeat.

Examples:

  1. Rocky was told by his trainer that he was going to throw in the towel in if he did not start throwing punches
  2. My brother was so fed up of his manager that he threw in the towel and quit his job.
  3. Unable to make him see my point of view, I threw in the towel and let him do it his way.
  4. She was playing a game of chess with her friend and was in a good position, but finally had to throw in the towel as she had to leave.
  5. Having labored on all night to crack the code, he finally threw in the towel and went to sleep.
  6. The argument was getting heated up, but not wanting to start a slanging match, she threw in the towel.
  7. Unable to decide upon a venue, the team threw in the towel and cancelled the event.
  8. Our team fought till the very end, but the opposition was just too good; they had to throw in the towel.

Origin:
From boxing, where the boxer’s trainer throws in the towel to stop the fight and accept defeat.

down and out

down and out

Meaning:
– homeless or penniless person
– someone who has no home, no job and no money
– poor and unlucky, bumming and boozing
– poor person who need help
– lacking funds, resources, or prospects; destitute

Examples:
1. After losing his job, he was left down and out.
2. I just assumed he was a down and out, begging on the street corner.
3. She was one of the many down-and-outers waiting for the soup kitchen to open.
4. When he was down and out, he went to the Salvation Army.

Origin:
Lacking funds or prospects; destitute, penniless. For example, After losing his job, car, and home, he was completely down and out. This term probably originated in boxing, where it alludes to the fighter who is knocked down and stays down for a given time, thereby losing the bout.

A boxer who is “down” has been knocked to the canvas, and one who is also “out” is unconscious or unable to resume the fight; thus a down-and-out boxer is utterly defeated. AHDI states the term “probably” came from boxing, circa 1900; OED references boxing rather obliquely, and cites first figurative usage to 1889.