Friday, April 29, 2011

The Language of Baseball

English like many languages has some colorful and unusual words. Many of these originated as descriptions for sports. None more so than baseball. Test yourself on your knowledge of these baseball terms.

Bean ball - a ball pitched directly at the batter's head, to force him back from the plate.

Bench jockey - a player or coach who taunts members of the opposing team from his place on the bench.

Blooper - a weak fly ball which falls beyond the infield and short of the outfield.

Cripple - ball pitched when the count on the batter is three balls and once strike, so called because the pitcher usually needs to "groove it" for a strike.

Duster - the pitcher's term for the pitch a batter calls a bean ball.

Rhubarb - an argument on the playing field, especially a noisy, vehement one involving an umpire and players from both teams.

Sitting in the catbird seat - sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes.


Morris, William. Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

No comments: