I saw this post describing words and idioms used to describe a situation where the losing party is able to turn the losing situation into a winning one.

Also, I came across the phrase "scrambled home" but I was only able to find one and only one definition for such a phrase from the online Macmillan Dictionary. I couldn't find any other online resources/dictionaries that have recorded such entry.

Is the use of "scrambled home" understandable to native speakers or it is outdated/uncommon?

  • That example ("Being left in front, Morley Street looked a sitting duck approaching the line but scrambled home") seems like a very strange sentence to this American English speaker, and is definitely not common or idiomatic in the US. You should note that the Macmillan definition's URL includes the word "British"; it might be a specifically British idiom.
    – stangdon
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 10:50
  • I'm not very familiar with the conventions of sporting journalism, but to scramble somewhere is to get there with difficulty, and one meaning of home is 'past the winning post' or its equivalent. (I'm not even sure what sport the dictionary quotation refers to!) Commented May 25, 2021 at 12:28
  • @KateBunting I never knew that home has the meaning of 'past the winning post'. Is this common usage in the sport context? Will it be possible for you to provide related reference/news articles/definition? I searched through the online dictionaries but they give the definition of home as 'one's own ground'. Thanks!
    – cZe99
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 3:14
  • 2
    The Oxford Dictionaries definition (which I found by Googling home definition has as its third meaning The finishing point in a race. - "he was four fences from home" Commented May 26, 2021 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


I would certainly understand that if I read it in a report on a sporting event. It is not a particularly common phrase but it is definitely used. I would have to say that the phrase you link to

Being left in front, Morley Street looked a sitting duck approaching the line but scrambled home

does seem odd though as the author has mixed two metaphors, the duck which is easy to shoot because it is not moving and a race which has a finishing line.

You must log in to answer this question.

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