tapping up

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tapping up

Post by Phil White » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:58 am

A recent court case in the UK involving the soccer player Ashley Cole centered around "tapping up" (have a look at http://www.myfootballnews.co.uk/news_ju ... ory=206875 or http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/footbal ... 610517.stm , for instance for the background).

I'd never heard the term before, and it's being used in the media as if everybody knows exactly what it means. Clearly, it's some kind of an approach by one club to a player contracted to another club without the permission of that club, but

- what exactly does it mean?
- where does the term come from?
- how long has it been around?
- can the media really expect people to understand the term without explanation?
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tapping up

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:01 pm

I remember that we used to tap up girls in the Sixties (“I’m going to tap up that bird in the red mini dress”). It was used then, as apparently now, instead of “chat up”. But in truth, it is not an expression I have heard since those days, so I was quite surprised when it suddenly came into use again.

I haven’t a clue as to where it came from though, except to say that a lot of teen expressions came out of Liverpool way back then, so it is a possibility that this came with the others.
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tapping up

Post by dalehileman » Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:06 pm

We use "tap" to mean select or solicit. I don't recall ever having encountered "tap up"
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tapping up

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:41 am

In the US, 'to tap' means to nominate or propose, especially for some kind of official position, e.g. "Joe Biden has been tapped for the committee chairmanship".

The context of your citations, Phil, seems to suggest that the UK 'to tap up' (which I too have only recently encountered) means 'to poach an employee'. I'll email an English teacher friend who is also crazy about soccer and ask what he can tell me.
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tapping up

Post by sandx » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:41 pm

Tap-up Sunday: The Sunday preceding the fair on St Catherine`s Hill,near Guildford,Surrey.So called because any person with or without a licence could sell beer on that one day.
source: Brewers 1894

Tap in highland dialect,meant to ask for something.e.g. "Can I tap you for a cigarette?"
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tapping up

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:14 am

The friend I mentioned earlier has drawn my attention to today's Independent, which contains an article ( http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_b ... ory=645341 ) about the coincidental publication today of a new edition of the Collins English Dictionary.

I quote the following:

" "Tapping up" makes its debut - after the illegal approach by Chelsea to Arsenal's Ashley Cole. It is defined as "the illicit practice of attempting to recruit a player while he is still bound by contract to another team". "

The same article also mentions that "The Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie is credited with "bouncebackability" - "the ability to recover after a setback, especially in sport"."
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tapping up

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:39 am

Which just leaves us with Phil's last point:

- can the media really expect people to understand the term without explanation?

No they can't, but they do rely heavily on the emperor's new clothes syndrome? No one could possibly admit to not knowing what it means.
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tapping up

Post by sandx » Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:40 am

Erik_Kowal wrote: The friend I mentioned earlier has drawn my attention to today's Independent, which contains an article ( http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_b ... ory=645341 ) about the coincidental publication today of a new edition of the Collins English Dictionary.

I quote the following:

" "Tapping up" makes its debut - after the illegal approach by Chelsea to Arsenal's Ashley Cole. It is defined as "the illicit practice of attempting to recruit a player while he is still bound by contract to another team". "

The same article also mentions that "The Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie is credited with "bouncebackability" - "the ability to recover after a setback, especially in sport"."
Iain Downie obviously lacks resilience!
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