Baseball Idioms Part One

Try To Do and Try Doing: Simple English Videos Lesson

Football! The most popular sport in the world. No, no, that’s soccer. In America, we play football. That’s a different kind of football. But this lesson’s about your favourite sport, Jay. Baseball? Yeah. Well, sort of. It’s about baseball idioms. Fantastic! We’re gonna hit this one right out of the ball park. It’ll be a home run. When he starts talking about baseball, sometimes it’s hard to know what he means. I’m British and when I came to the United States I discovered there were lots of baseball idioms in American English. They’re easy. But you need to know something about baseball or they don’t make much sense. Baseball’s easy. Let me tell you about the scoring system. Hang on, Jay. Let’s keep this simple. Oh? Let’s start with the basics. Americans play baseball in a park. A ballpark. And there’s grass. It’s like a pitch. No. You play soccer on a pitch. We play baseball on a field. One person has a bat and the other has a ball. The pitcher pitches the ball to the batter. ‘Pitch’. Our first idiom. I’ve got a great idea. Uhuh. Can I tell you about it? Err, I’m busy at the moment. Pitch it to me later. Oh! So ‘to pitch an idea’ is to present it. A good pitcher makes a strong throw. That was a very persuasive presentation. Yes, it was a strong pitch. So ‘pitching an idea’ is like throwing the ball out there. That’s right. Then the batter hits it as far as they can. They want to get a home run. A home run! There’s another one. Yeah, a baseball field has four bases. If the batters run around all four bases, they’ve hit a home run. (applause) That presentation was amazing. Was it OK? Fantastic! What a great job! I think the audience liked it. Liked it? You hit it out of the ballpark. You hit a home run. So what does ‘hit a home run’ mean? It means be very successful. And ‘hit one out of the ball park’? That’s a fantastic success. You can’t do better than that. And if you hit a home run right off the bat… Hang on. ‘Right off the bat’. That’s another one. So what happened? I walked in the room and right off the bat I knew something was wrong. Right off the bat? Yeah. Right away he said, ‘You’re fired’. He said that immediately? Yep. No delay. So ‘right off the bat’ means with no delay. Yes. As soon as the ball hits the bat it comes right off it. It happens immediately. And speaking of things that are happening immediately… What? I’ve gotta go. Why? The game is starting in five minutes. But we haven’t finished the idioms. We’ll have to take a rain check. Stop! ‘A rain check’. What’s that? Oh, sometimes the weather’s bad and then the game is cancelled. If you have a ticket to a game but it rains, they give you a ticket to another game. It’s called a rain check. I’ve got a problem. What’s that? I can’t make Monday’s meeting. Can I take a rain check? Sure. Are you free sometime next week? Yeah. How about Tuesday? The game’s starting. I need to take a rain check. OK, then please come back later guys and we’ll have some more baseball idioms for you then. We ‘hit things for six’ in British English. I have no idea what that is. Well, if you…. if you’re playing cricket and you hit the ball a long way, then you can make six runs. Oh, I think I get it. Six runs around the bases? Yes, well back and forth ’cause there are only two wickets. What’s a wicket. A wicket… a wicket is, oh you’ll be stumped by this Jay… A wicket is, is three sticks in the ground with some little pegs on the top. And you have to bowl a ball and hit the wicket. What? Do you bowl the str…. Do you… what …bowl…. bowl… we bowl .. We bowl a ball in bowling. No, we bowl the ball. How do you strike the batter out? You don’t strike the batter. That would get you disqualified if you hit the batter. It would be terrible.

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