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Can I use tough play in opposition to fair game? Can you please help me to find something opposite of fair play?

Thank you
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Hi Antonia,

Idioms often need a context to get the usage right and you didn't give any, but here are a few comments anyway.

I'd say the exact opposite of 'fair play' is 'foul play', but there are many other things you could say, so a context is needed. British people sometimes say a thing is 'not cricket'. 'Tough play' is not an idiomatic phrase.

fair game is not related to 'fair play'.

Mary is not married, so Tom thinks it's OK to ask her for a date. Mary is fair game.

Betty is married, so Tom thinks she is 'out of bounds' or 'off-limits'.

Clive
One question: when you say "fair game", do you (I don't mean you Clive, but any Anglo-Saxon ear ) hear it as "game", you can win or lose, or as "game" as in "a gamekeeper"?
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One more question on the same "Fair Game".

Is this phrase used in the same way as used in the phrase " Are you game for this proposal??"

Is Fair Game also used the same way.

Please could you give some examples of usage of the phrase Fair Game...

Thanks in Advace

Aster
Hi Antonia,

One question: when you say "fair game", do you (I don't mean you Clive, but any Anglo-Saxon ear ) hear it as "game", you can win or lose, or as

I hear"game" as in "a gamekeeper". Certain birds, for example pheasants, are traditionally considered as game birds, but only 'fair game' at certain times of the year and in certain situations.

(Actually, I have Celtic ears)

Hi Aster,

One more question on the same "Fair Game". Is this phrase used in the same way as used in the phrase " Are you game for this proposal??"

No, 'game' here is an adjective meaning 'spirited'. Tom's opponent in the boxing ring was much bigger, but Tom fought gamely.

Are you game for this proposal? means 'Are you "brave enough" for this?' However, sometimes we use it informally to just mean 'ready'. 'Are you game for a cup of tea?'

Is Fair Game also used the same way. No, see above.

Please could you give some examples of usage of the phrase Fair Game...

It's OK for the newspapers to chase after and criticize a politician, but I don't think his wife and children are fair game.

Best wishes, Clive
Thank you, Clive! (I know some about "Pheasant", I've read Mazo de la Roche in my youth)

BTW, it was me who asked the question Emotion: smile
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Thank you all for your posts.

Fair play is referred to one type of negotiation in which one party takes into consideration the other party and its need and is usually more successful than tough play in which the party is trying to win at the expense of the other party. Hope it helps.