What does "pulling down shorts" mean in football/soccer context?

What does "pulling down shorts" mean in football/soccer context?

69 min GOAL! Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City (Aguero)

Aguero from five yards! City are pulling down their shorts and giving United the big old blue moon here! Yaya threads the ball through for Balotelli, who flicks it out right for Milner. The cross comes in from the right, and this time it's Aguero at the back post to convert! For City, this is turning not only into a momentous win, but a ravishing. This is a game City fans will talk about for as long as they follow football.

2 Answers 2


It literally means they are pulling down their shorts, but the meaning of the entire expression is figurative.

"Moon" means to show one's naked bottom in public. So when it says...

pulling down their shorts and giving United the big old blue moon

... it would literally mean that they are pulling their shorts down and showing their bottoms to the opposing team.

However, 'mooning' and other rude gestures are sometimes said to be happening figuratively when something is done that sends a similar message; for example, the delivery of bad news is sometimes referred to as "a kick in the teeth".

In this context it means that City were beating United in a way that was a huge insult to them - as if they were mooning at them in an insulting, disrespectful way. There is a long-standing rivalry between 'City' and 'United' (Manchester City, and Manchester United) so any win would be a metaphorical kick in the teeth for the other. Note that literal mooning would not be tolerated in a professional game of football.

  • 1
    It is not literal. They would not do this during play and they would be fined for lewd behaviour. It means that they are easily beating the other side in a disdainful way. Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 14:35
  • @chasly-supportsMonica literally just added this in.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 14:39

Pulling down your shorts in any context means you are making a rude gesture: you are showing those present you rear end, or derrière to denote superiority or saying "I told you so".

The meaning is like thumbing your nose at someone by revealing your buttocks to do so.

Boy, that game dates back to 2011.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .