In football, the expression "one-two" (or "give-and-go") means: Player A passes the ball to Player B, who immediately passes it back to Player A.

Why is this called "to play a one-two"? Where does this expression come from? Does it originate from the boxing term "one-two punch"? Or does it originate from somewhere else?


1 Answer 1


A give-and-go, or one-two, is a fundamental maneuver in many team sports which involves two players passing the ball or puck back and forth. The player who has the ball or puck passes to a teammate and then repositions in order to receive a return pass and a scoring opportunity.


It looks like the expression originated in boxing at the beginning of the 19th century:

  • one-two blow A combination of two blows with the fists, a short left jab plus a hard right cross, usually to the chin : zipping ''one-twos'' to the jaw (1811+)

(The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.)

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