In one podcast I've stumbled upon the following dialog (two hosts discussing new version of software, one of them like it other - not, both of them males):

xxx: Ok, we both have tried that version on that weekend and now lets talk about it. Queens rules?

yyy: Yes.

xxx: The thing that I liked most is...

yyy: But on the other hand...

After that it looks like normal discussion. In that context it sounds like a question which you may ask your opponent just before yours argument/battle. Also I could incorrectly recognize that phrase but it sounds like "Queens rules".

  • Some context, please! Jun 29, 2014 at 10:50
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, done.
    – anlar
    Jun 29, 2014 at 11:03
  • 2
    Since the phrase depends on something which you may have "incorrectly recognised", it would be really helpful to include a link to the podcast and the timestamp of the phrase.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 29, 2014 at 11:37
  • @Andrew: I almost thought this was General Reference, but Janus's comment and evidence from Google Books that "Queensberry Rules" is significantly less common in AmE convinced me otherwise. Jun 29, 2014 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


It's Queensberry Rules...

a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. They were named so because John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code.

The term is often used (usually, but not always facetiously) in more general contexts. It normally has the general sense of "We agree to settle our differences in a gentlemanly fashion", but arguably in OP's exact context it has the more specific sense of...

"We agree to take turns throwing a punch (making a point in a debate), then allowing the other contestant to parry that point (rebut it by reasoned argument) before he makes his next point."

  • 2
    +1 – never heard about this before (which makes sense, since I hate boxing). Live and learn. :-) Jun 29, 2014 at 11:39
  • 2
    @Janus: I've never been into boxing myself, but as a teenager I was terrifically impressed by Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali and his principled stand against the establishment. No matter how much you may deplore his chosen "career", I think you have to admit he was/is a great man (he's barely still "with us" today). To my mind the way he was treated by vindictive/uncaring vested interests US society is far worse than anything he did in the ring. Jun 29, 2014 at 12:01
  • 1
    ...even before I was a teenager, I was familiar with "Queensberry rules!" as an an injunction/exclamation. In the context of a playground fight, for example, it pretty much just meant "No kicking, biting or scratching" - certainly not "Combatants must wear boxing gloves, fight in 3-minute bouts with no wrestling allowed, etc.". Jun 29, 2014 at 12:22

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