Have you ever heard the expression 'nosebleed seats' and wondered what it meant? This article will explore what this idiom means, its origin, and how you can use it in a sentence.
In brief, 'nosebleed seats' are seats in the part of a stadium or arena that are high up and far away from the stage, field, or central area of activity.
‘Nosebleed seats’ is an idiom that is used in American and Canadian English to refer to seats in a stadium or area that are the highest and farthest from the central activity– whether it’s a sports game, concert, or another event.
If you are going to a football game and someone says that you are sitting in the ‘nosebleed section’ or ‘nosebleed seats,’ it means that the seats are high up and likely far away from the action on the field.
As you can see, the meaning of ‘nosebleed seats’ is simple enough. However, you’re probably wondering where the idiom comes from. After all, what does your nose bleeding have to do with having seats that are far away from a stage or playing field?
The reference here is that, at high altitudes, it’s common for mountain climbers to suffer from nosebleeds. The reason that our noses are prone to bleeding at high altitudes is that atmospheric pressure decreases the higher you go, meaning that the pressure within the blood vessels becomes higher than the pressure outside. This leads to rupturing of the blood vessels.
As early as 1953, the phrase was used in print to describe the last row in the end zone at what is now John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia (previously Municipal Stadium) during an Army-Navy football game.
'Nosebleed seats' commonly refers to the cheapest seats in a stadium. The seats that are farthest away from the action have long been the least expensive. In fact, in the days of the Colosseum, the courtside seats and luxury boxes were reserved for the upper classes, while the least desirable seats were where the lower-class citizens sat.
Now that we have a better understanding of the meaning of ‘nosebleed seats’ and where it comes from as an idiom let’s take a look at how you can use this in a sentence.
'Nosebleed seats' is a light-hearted and jocular way to describe the seats that are high up and far away from the action. They tend to be cheaper than seats that are closer to the stage or playing field because it's harder to see what's going on. That being said, these days, nosebleed seats aren't nearly as bad as they used to be because there are usually huge screens broadcasting the main activity so everyone in the stadium or arena can get a good view.
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