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.
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 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]:
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.
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.
The phrase "Anyone for tennis?" (also given as "Tennis, anyone?") is an English language idiom primarily of the 20th century.The phrase is used to invoke a stereotype of shallow, leisured, upper-class toffs (tennis was, particularly before the widespread advent of public courts in the later 20th century, seen as a posh game for the rich, with courts popular at country clubs and private estates).
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?
What rich, spoiled, white people say with a sweater wrapped around their neck holding a tennis racket before a round of tennis