Sport – English idioms and sayings

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término English
definición English

To get something started.
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to get the ball rolling
Let's just stop planning and get the ball rolling. Let's do something!

To remain alert.
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to keep your eye on the ball
We can't leave it simmering, we have to keep our eyes on the ball.

To be well informed.
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to be on the ball
I'm on the ball regarding the Olympic Games.

To cooperate.
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to play ball
I have no choice I have to play ball with you if we want to get out of here.

A completely different situation, often one which is difficult or which you know little about.
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a whole new ball game
I knew everything about China, but Japan was a whole new ball game.

Someone (the one in whose court the ball is) has to do something, before anyone else can do something more.
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the ball's in someone's court
I've done everything I could, now the ball is his court.

A bad mistake or shoddy job.
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a balls up
This film was a total balls up. I just couldn't stand it.

To be astonished or overwhelmed.
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to be bowled over
I was bowled over by the flowers he sent me.

To make the first decisive move in a situation.
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to beat someone to the punch
I planned to go to China and write about it, but George beat me to the punch.

To be fired or let go from an organization.
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to get the boot
Another way of saying somebody was fired is to say that he got the boot.

If someone's behaviour or actions are not cricket, they are not honourable or moral.
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It's not cricket.
You cheated! That's not cricket!

To put forth your best effort.
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to give it one's best shot
I'm sorry it failed, I gave it my best shot.

To have a high personal energy level.
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to have get-up-and-go
I just can't get up in the morning. My get-up-and-go is very low recently.

To carry through a course of action to completion.
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to go the distance
I started this project and I finished it, I went the distance.

To act unfairly.
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to hit below the belt
It's not cricket to hit below the belt.

To be lucky especially in a sport or hobby played on a green surface.
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the rub of the green
He broke his leg during the last semi-final, he apparently didn't have the rub of the green.

To put yourself into a good position to win something.
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to jockey yourself into position
The politicians were jockeying for position, trying to get the best television exposure.

To discuss something.
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to kick something around
Let's just kick a few ideas around and choose the best one.

To start trouble or fight.
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to kick off
I felt the fight was just about to kick off.

Used to give permission to someone to do something.
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Knock yourself out.
Can I take your pencil? Sure, knock yourself out.

To fail when others are relying on you.
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to let the side down
I know there was no harm, but I feel I let the side down.

To try to persuade people to support you or give you something.
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to (make a) pitch for something
Advertisements' main goal is to make a pitch for something.

To make unfair changes without warning.
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to move the goalposts
Hey, that's unfair, you shouldn't change rules while playing, don't move the goal posts!

With all restrictions relaxed.
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No holds barred
Now you're an adult, no holds barred.

To have an affair.
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to play away from home
I suspect, my husband plays away from home.

To be careful and avoid any risk
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to play it safe
When taking care of a baby you have to play it safe.

To be saved from misfortune or unpleasantness by something.
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to be saved by the bell
He was just about to hit the thief, but the thief was saved by the bell of police arrival.

Some good quality that makes you like something or someone although you do not like anything else about them.
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saving grace
His good manners are his only saving grace, but I don't like him anyway.

To make a problem for yourself.
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to score an own goal
By saying this you've scored your own goal.

To surrender, admit defeat.
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to throw in the towel
I was trying to cook something, but after three hours in the kitchen I threw in the towel and ordered a meal.

To succeed by a very narrow margin.
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to win by a nose
This election was won by a nose by our candidate...


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