One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1British A cross-country race in which the runners follow a trail marked by torn-up paper.
- ‘Cross-country running began in England in the early 19th century through a school game called ‘hare and hounds’ or ‘the paper chase.’’
- ‘Some Saturday afternoons we served tea for the harriers who did paper chases and some Sundays we had Bible Class teas at different churches.’
- ‘For the uninitiated, the Hash House Harriers were first established in Malaysia in 1938, when a group of British ex-pats had been meeting for regular ‘hare and hounds’ runs based on English public school paper chases.’
- ‘Club members of all ages and abilities will be out in force on Boxing Day for the annual paperchase around Hayes Common.’
- ‘If people wish to get their rocks off by riding horses around the countryside then so be it… do a drag hunt or paper chase - there is no need to involve a fox or any other living creature here.’
2informal An administration characterized by excessive bureaucracy.
- ‘Edwardes said: ‘The Ryder remedy only produced a bureaucratic paperchase dissipating management resource and effort.’’
- ‘The legislation involved is complicated and involves a legislative paperchase.’
- ‘They say the benefits of the plans to free hospitals from Whitehall central control will be lost and the reforms will founder in the same way Tory reforms to create market in health services in the 1990s became mired in a paper chase.’
- ‘Mr Willetts also renewed his assault on the bureaucratic paperchase facing charities and voluntary groups seeking funding from the state.’
- ‘The real proof, pointing directly to particular suspects, is far more likely to come from analysing the paperchase of official records.’
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