One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Fighting with the fists.
disturbance, quarrel, scuffle, brawl, affray, tussle, melee, free-for-all, fight, clash, skirmish, brouhaha, riot, uproar, commotionView synonyms
- ‘Car owners have also become so touchy and fussy about the parking space that any encroachment leads to heated arguments and bouts of fisticuffs.’
- ‘It is no longer reasonable to expect those who keep a ‘cool head’ when the fisticuffs start to restore normality in such circumstances.’
- ‘Amid the fisticuffs there's greatness, as we film junkies know.’
- ‘As the two No 9s flailed about on the floor, the two packs closed for a bout of ugly and prolonged fisticuffs, a scenario that was repeated throughout the match.’
- ‘However, when we step through the turnstiles, it's war - minus the shooting of course and largely minus any fisticuffs too these days.’
- ‘Failure always leads to arguments, fisticuffs and grudging reconciliation.’
- ‘Now, you might think this is where the fisticuffs come in.’
- ‘Petty fisticuffs aside, the idea of a battle of the sexes in the snooker arena would add an extra dimension.’
- ‘There were fisticuffs and threats, and my backpack was gently returned to me as we exited the discotheque - apparently barred for our dirty dancing.’
- ‘Sometimes, it takes good old-fashioned fisticuffs to settle the matter.’
- ‘Every dispute from fisticuffs in the street to a battle in a grand war needs its goodies and baddies.’
- ‘You just have to put up with a bit of shouting and the occasional fisticuffs.’
- ‘Then, according to Ken anyway, Jerry ‘ran like a woman out of the club’ to escape potential fisticuffs.’
- ‘The incident began with words in a bar, with an alleged insult to some women, then a confrontation with fisticuffs and bottles being thrown.’
- ‘A bout of fisticuffs ensues, and with a misdirected right hook, the villain finds himself stuck in the shock therapy equipment.’
- ‘Some men still believe in fisticuffs as a method of settling grudges.’
- ‘Every effort was also made to discern the identity of all the major suspects or individuals who were involved in any kind of fisticuffs.’
- ‘It was the banter between them before the starting bell, not the fisticuffs that followed, that was the fight's main attraction.’
- ‘Taken to the nth degree this mentality could lead to a shift towards the sort of behaviour seen in ice hockey, in which known combatants get the fisticuffs out of the way before the game even starts.’
- ‘Here's a report on the fisticuffs, which will continue with appeals.’
Early 17th century: probably from obsolete fisty ‘relating to the fists or to fist fighting’+ cuff.
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