A nutmeg (or tunnel) is a technique used in football or field hockey, in which a player plays the ball through an opponent’s legs. This can be whilst passing to another player, shooting or occasionally to carry on and retrieve it himself. However it is well accepted that the classic nutmeg involves retrieving the ball oneself after passing the ball through the opponent’s legs, ideally calling ‘nuts’ or ‘megs’ whilst doing so.

The usage may have arisen because of a sharp practice used in nutmeg exports between America and England. Unscrupulous exporters mixed wooden replicas into the sacks being shipped to England. Being nutmegged soon came to imply stupidity on the part of the duped victim and cleverness on the part of the trickster. Panna is a two person soccer game where opponents attempt to meg each other that is popular in the Netherlands.

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