One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A player nominated to act as a reserve in a game, typically carrying out duties such as fielding as a substitute, taking out drinks, etc.
- ‘At cricket grounds people seem most excited by the chance to glimpse a famous face - even if it's the twelfth man carrying a water bottle or a TV commentator stretching his legs.’
- ‘The teams will include a nominated captain and a twelfth man.’
- ‘In the evening as we sat on the large veranda, a discussion took place about the twelfth man being really only good for carrying drinks.’
- ‘I'd go to practise and turn up to the match and I'd always be the twelfth man.’
- ‘In real life a twelfth man is needed in case of injury to one of the other eleven.’
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