ESL sports idioms represent a large portion of everyday conversation for Westerners. Many people love to talk about sports. That is why the expressions find their way into daily conversations. Our friends Eric and Jeff find some funny ways to help us learn how to use these phrases.
#1 Step up to the plate– This means to take responsibility for something. (baseball)
Example: Eric always lets his brother Jeff wash the dishes. Eric’s dad tells him that it is time to step up to the plate and do this yourself.
#2 Take a rain check- A baseball term used to indicate you will do something at a later time.
Example: Eric’s date says she can not come. She asks for a rain check.
#3 Take sides– It means to choose a person or a group.(team sports)
Example- Eric and Jeff fight all of the time. His dad refuses to take sides.
#4 Skate on thin ice- This means to do something risky. (ice skating)
Example: Eric takes his dad’s car without asking. Jeff tells him that he is skating on thin ice.
#5 Start the ball rolling– The meaning is to get something started (any ball sport)
Example: Eric is graduating high school tomorrow. He applied for his first university yesterday. His teacher tells him that he is a little late to get the ball rolling.
#6 Shot in the dark– This means to completely guess at something. (hunting)
Example: Eric always raises his hand in class even if he doesn’t know the answer. He loves to just take a shot in the dark at things.
#7 Time out- It is another way to say a break. (all sports)
Example: Eric is arguing with Jeff over who should wash the dishes. He decided to take a time out.
#8 Out of someone’s league- This means that you are not as good as someone. (team sports)
Example: Erica would like to date Marissa. But, she is way out of his league.
#9 Out in left field- This is said when you are not even close to the truth. (baseball)
Example: Eric thinks that seven girls want to be his girlfriend. Jeff thinks he is out in left field.
#10 No sweat- This indicates something is easy. (team sports)
Example: Eric’s dad asks him to pick Jeff up at school. Eric responds with, ” No sweat, Dad.”
What sports idioms do you know? What ones do you think you will use?