Pascal Tréguer etymology, USA & Canada Canada, cinema, dictionaries, Humphrey Bogart, newspapers & magazines, phrases, sports & games, theatre, USA. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED – 2nd edition, 1989) defines the phrase tennis, anyone?, also anyone for tennis?, who’s for tennis?, etc., as follows: a typical entrance or exit line given to a young man in a superficial drawing-room comedy, used attributively of (someone or something reminiscent of) this kind of comedy.
The origin of court tennis is shrouded in antiquity. Its beginnings have been traced all the way back to the fertility rites of the Egyptians and Persians, in which the ball was the symbol of fertility. As long ago as 450 B.C. Herodotus referred to tennis.
The top cliché, “Anyone for tennis?” has become a satirical utterance denoting complete fatuous foolishness. In 1957 the influential British-American commentator Alistair Cooke writing in The Guardian newspaper claimed that Bogart said “Tennis anyone?” during a performance in 1927, but no specific play was named [ACHB]:
It is said to represent the uncaring attitude of the upper class to the sometimes terrible living and other conditions of the poor. They, the upper class, were fixated on themselves, to the extent that they relieved their own boredom with games, eg tennis. 'Tennis anyone?' is a way of saying 'I don't worry about things outside my own small circle'.
The phrase " Anyone for tennis? " (also given as " Tennis, anyone? ") is an English language idiom primarily of the 20th century.
Tennis, anyone? dated An expression of indifference to matters beyond or outside of one's own sphere of concerns. The phrase was popularized in plays in the early 20th century as a jab at the aristocracy and upper class who cared little or not at all for the problems afflicting those in social classes beneath them.
Tennis, anyone? Posted by Peter Weiss on December 29, 2003. Does anyone know the origin of this phrase? Tennis, anyone? Peter Weiss 29/December/03; Tennis, anyone?
In August 1924, the year the economy began to turn the corner, the Allentown club worked with Oakmont to create a tennis tournament open to anyone who lived in Allentown. The Allentown Tennis Club ...