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Kick into Touch

In rugby and soccer to kick into touch means to “kick a ball out of play.” The phrase by extension is used in British English mean to “take some kind of action so that a decision is postponed” or otherwise get rid of a...

Common Idioms from Baseball

Right off the bat, you can probably name a long list of common idioms that come from baseball. For example, “right off the bat.” But how about some of the more obscure ones, like the “Linda Ronstadt“? In a nod to...

Tickets to the Gun Show

Why do we call our biceps guns? The slang lexicographer Jonathon Green suggests that the metaphor first pops up in baseball around the 1920s, when players referred to their throwing arms as guns. Believe it or not, the early baseball pitchers...

Meteoric Rise

Why do we say someone whose career on the ascent is enjoying a meteoric rise? Don’t meteors plummet? For that matter, a caller asks, why do we call “heads up!” when a ball is coming towards us? Shouldn’t it be “heads...

Good Leather

A Wyoming native asks about the origin of her father’s term of approbation, good leather. Grant thinks it might be from baseball, where good leather means “good fielding with a leather ball in a leather glove.” This is part of a...

Baseball Wheelhouse

If something is in your wheelhouse, it’s well within your area of expertise. According to the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term wheelhouse refers to swinging a bat when the ball is right in your crush zone. This is part of a complete...