Where Did the Phrase “Back to Square One” When Starting Over Come From and What Does the Expression Mean?

During the 1930s, the BBC broadcast soccer, or football, games on the radio.

As an aid to listeners they published a map of the playing field, which was divided into numbered squares.

The commentators would mention the square number of the action after each description of the play.

Square one was near the goaltender, so that to score you needed to carry the play the full length of the field.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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