One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A child's word for a person's foot.‘give those tired footsies a well-earned rest’
2in phrase play footsieThe action of touching someone's feet lightly with one's own feet, especially under a table, as a playful expression of romantic interest.‘he was playing footsie with Mara under the table’
- ‘Then a follow-up after treatment with expensive drug X shows her playing open-sandaled under-the-table footsie with her more adoring boyfriend!’
- ‘All that lip-wrestling in the conference room, footsie in the canteen and fumbling in the office toilets is coming back to haunt workers in the UK.’
- ‘Having sat at the table alongside the immortals, hearing their words while watching their games of footsie, Vidal is a sort of reflexive reductionist.’
- ‘So, little by little, she slid her foot forwards towards Josh's and prepared herself for what she hoped would be a successful game of footsie.’
- ‘He's noticed the very indiscreet game of footsie underneath the table, probably because Stephen just kicked him thinking that was Jules' foot.’
- 2.1 Work with someone in a close but covert way.‘the minister was rebuked for playing footsie with the nationalists’
- ‘After all this time in prison I don't feel up to the level of diplomacy required to play footsie with traitors.’
- ‘The only way he could sign such cheques is if Celtic were permitted entry to the Premiership, and his board continue to play footsie with that prospect while simultaneously emphasising their commitment to the Premierleague.’
- ‘They must overcome the racial divisions that turned once-ardent yellow-dog Democrats into blue dogs willing to play footsie with Republicans.’
- ‘He played footsie with both the main parties, before choosing to run for the Progressive Democrats, who were widely assumed to be simply the highest bidder for his talents.’
- ‘Think he's going to be fired up to drive to places such as Irmo, S.C., to sit in a living room and play footsie with recruits and their parents?’
- ‘Yes, a handful of tribes have made a mint, but only those that live near major cities and don't mind playing footsie with white government.’
- ‘We have played footsie with them on human rights.’
- ‘This is why monarchs played footsie with pirates in Elizabethan times and no doubt have been doing so ever since.’
- ‘In Gujarat, the feet that could have done the stomping were, instead, playing footsie with the mob.’
- ‘They have no difficulty in playing footsie with the Government on stadia that, in my opinion, are not required.’
Mid 18th century: humorous diminutive of foot.
- another term for FTSE index
1980s: fanciful elaboration of FTSE, influenced by footsie.
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