Most Common Baseball Idioms
Keep the idioms coming! Last month, we had a post on boxing idioms that are often used in the real world. As we are halfway through the baseball season, it would only be fair to point out that many frequently used idioms also come from baseball. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. “Throw (someone) a curveball” – to do something unexpected, usually something unpleasant
Baseball scenario – When the pitcher throws a curveball, the ball will dive downward instead of flying in a straight line. Usually, this is done in order to trick the batter into thinking that he will be able to hit the ball, when actually he will probably fail to do so.
Real world scenario – During a presentation at school or work, you expect others to ask questions that relate to your presentation. However, when someone asks you about something you were completely unprepared to discuss, that person has just thrown you a curveball.
2. “Step up to the plate” – to accept a challenge or responsibility for something; to rise to the occasion
Baseball scenario – The batter gets into position to hit the ball. He stands at the right or left of the plate depending on which feels more comfortable.
Real world scenario – Natural disasters, like hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes, can wreak havoc and cause significant damage. People who want to help rebuild destroyed neighborhoods should step up to the plate and begin working with each other to help these communities.
3. “Strike out” – to fail at something
Baseball scenario – A batter is given three chances to hit the ball and run to first base. If he fails all three times, he has just struck out and has lost an opportunity to score a point for the team.
Real world scenario – If a man is attracted to a woman, he should seize the chance to ask her out on a dinner date. If he takes too long to do this and somebody else ends up asking her out first for dinner, then he has struck out and will not be having dinner with her.
4. “Play hardball” – to play tough/act aggressively; to be unwilling to compromise
Baseball scenario – In baseball, a hard ball is used while in softball, a softer ball is used.
Real world scenario – If two major companies are trying to come to a certain agreement, but one refuses to cooperate in the deal, then that company is playing hardball. The company will not compromise until it gets what it wants.
Have you heard of any other idioms that might come from baseball? What about other sports?