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push comes to shove, if

Also, when push comes to shove . When matters must be confronted, when a crucial point is reached, as in If push comes to shove, the Federal Reserve Board will lower the interest rate , or They supposedly support equality, but when push comes to shove they always seem to promote a man instead of a woman . This term comes from rugby, where, after an infraction of rules, forwards from each team face off and push against one another until one player can kick the ball to a teammate and resume the game. Its figurative use dates from the 1950s. Also see the synonym if worst comes to worst
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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