Idiom – Move The Goalposts
Move The Goalposts – Idiom of the Day
It means altering the rules of some process going on normally.
When tracing the history of the word goalposts from where the idiom seems to have, originated, we find that it was used in relation to sports in 1834. In those days, players identified the goal with the help of two upright posts. When someone intentionally or unintentionally changed their positions, it became hard for the players to focus on their target. The idiom was recently used in 2011 in the US House.
Politican 1: I think it is tough to win the elections, this time
Politician 2: Why?
Politican 1: The famine has ruined many families. How will they vote for us?
Politician 2: Oh no! Winning is simple. Just move the goalposts.
Sarah: Let’s play hockey
Sarah: No, no. Lets play tennis.
Lisa ( disappointed) : Okay
Sarah: I think we should play chess, instead.
Lisa: How can I ever play with you? You keep moving the goalposts.
John: Will the jury dismiss charges against my brother?
Lawyer: There is strong evidence against your brother. We’ll just keep moving the goalposts for now.
Go through the examples to understand the usage of the idiom:
1. The centre had planned an income tax raid to Mr.X’s house. But he cleverly escaped by moving the goalposts.
2. The media was focusing too much on the murder of the actor. So intelligence decided to move the goalposts.
3. The finance department just moved the goalposts and did not give proper explanations for the expenditure.