drop the gloves

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the practice of ice hockey players of removing their heavy gloves before striking blows in fistfights

Verb[edit]

drop the gloves

  1. (Canada and US, ice hockey, idiomatic) To fight.
    • 2007, Mike Brophy, "Getting rid of the goons," Globe and Mail (Canada), 27 Mar. (retrieved 14 Oct. 2008),
      Nobody used to care when players such as John Ferguson, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard dropped the gloves, because they could play the game, too.
  2. (Canada and US, idiomatic, by extension) To remove a prior impediment to action; to prepare for or engage in a dispute.
    • 2000, Thomas DeFrank et al., "George W. & Al Bank on Bubba," New York Daily News, 30 Jan. (retrieved 14 Oct. 2008),
      But Bradley, who dropped the gloves on Gore in a combative debate Wednesday night and called the vice president chronically dishonest, ignored Sullivan's advice.