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Commonly used baseball expressions in everyday talk

Play ball!

Even when we are not talking about baseball, we are often using the language of baseball.

On this week's edition of That's What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan explore baseball terminology and the expressions that are commonly used, even though the reference may have nothing to do with baseball.

There are common expressions such as "in the ballpark," "cover all your bases," and "right off the bat," which are used on a daily basis to describe a variety of situations. On the other hand, there are other expressions,  such as "rain check," that have baseball origins, that people may not be aware of. Rain check is metaphorically used for rescheduling. Additionally, the concept of a designated driver is adapted from the baseball position of designated hitter, while the term "off base" tends to indicate being off target.

What baseball terms and expressions do you frequently use? Step up to the plate and let us know by leaving a comment below!

– Omar Saadeh, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Anne Curzan is the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. She also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Education.
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