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棒球術語衍生的英文慣用語
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: July 9, 2010 – 9:32 am

版主先前已經上傳過棒球術語解說,有興趣的網友可參考『棒球術語 (中英對照)』。

棒球是美國人熱愛的一種 (職業) 運動,許多人甚為著迷,難怪老美的會話中便會有許多轉借自棒球比賽的說法。版主根據網路與手頭的資料,列舉一些常見或有趣的習慣用語。 

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translation

To step up to the plate = 準備展開行動

棒球的本壘板就是 (home plate)。打者站上本壘打擊時便是 ‘step up to the plate’,引用到會話便是「準備展開行動」。
* Someone who “steps up to the plate” is ready to do his or her job.

(例句)
The government needs to step up to the plate and start its share of work. 
(政府該開始做份內工作了。)

 

translation

Take a rain-check (on sth) = 謝絕對方好意的一種說法

如果球賽開始以後下雨,球迷在離開時可拿到一張特別的票券 (rain check),下次可憑票免費看一場球賽。
* take a rain-check = decline an offer or say you can’t accept someone’s invitation, but promise to do it another time

(例句)
Thanks for the invitation, but I’ll have to take a rain-check on it.  
(謝謝你的盛情邀約,改天我必定奉陪。)

I won’t play table tennis this afternoon. Can I get a rain check?
(我下午沒法打桌球,可以改天再打嗎?)

 

translation

Go to first base / Reach first base = 獲得初步的成功

Base 就是壘包,get to first base 從字面解釋就是上一壘。上了一壘就有的得分的契機。
這句話也可以用於男女關係,意指有第一步的親密行為 (接吻) 。

* go to first base = succeed in the initial phase or meet with preliminary approval . This term alludes to the first base of baseball, which is the first step toward scoring a run for the batter’s team.
* go to first base =  get to the first stage of sexual intimacy, such as kissing.

(例句)
They were delighted that they’d gotten to first base in the negotiations.  
(協商已有初步的成果,他們對此感到很高興。)

A: John adores Sally.
(約翰很喜歡莎麗。)
B: He can’t even reach first base with her. Sally won’t even speak to him.
(他根本就癡人作夢,莎麗壓根就不跟他講話。)

 

translation

A ballpark figure = 約略的數字

所謂 Ballpark 是指大型的棒球場。Ballpark figure 就是電視轉播時報的觀眾人數 (例如是 43,132 人)。這個數字通常只是約略的估計數字而已,因此 ballpark figure 就是指「約略的估計數字」。Ballpark 也可以單獨使用,表示約略的範圍。

* a ballpark figure = an estimated figure or number.

(例句)
Right now I can only give you a ballpark (figure). / I can only give you a ballpark estimate.
(我現在只能給你約略的數據。)

He’s looking for a used car in the $3000 ballpark.
(他正在尋找價格約略在三千美元左右的中古車。)

* 這個字 ballpark 也可以當作動詞,表示「估計 /推算」。
I’d ballpark A-Rod’s life earnings to be around $300 million.
(我估計 A-Rod 一輩子大約可賺三億美金。 )

 

translation

still in the ballgame = 比賽勝負未定;仍然保有機會

這句話照字面解釋是「比賽仍然在進行」,原本是體育播報記者在轉播棒時說落後的一方仍有機會反敗為勝。例如:The Yankees are are still in the ballgame. (洋基隊仍有反攻機會。)

(例句)
We’re still in the ballgame, but we need to do a better job.
(我們仍有機會,但是必須表現得更好。)

** 還有有一個類似的說法:a whole new ballgame (嶄新的局面),用來指事態完全改觀。
That’s a whole new ballgame. (那是一個嶄新的局面。)

 

translation

throw a curveball = 做出令人意想不到的事

curve (curve ball) 就是「曲球」,因此 throw a curveball 就是「投出曲球」。投手投曲球,目的就是要混淆打者,使其揮棒落空,因此 throw a curveball 便可引申為「給對方出意外的難題」。

(例句)
A: I planned to take my vacation next week, but my boss said I can’t go now!
(我本來打算下週去度假,我的上司卻說我不能去了!)
B: Wow, he really threw you a curveball! No wonder you’re so pissed off.
(他真是讓你措手不及耶!難怪你氣得跳腳。)

 

translation

on the ball = 對新思想的動態很敏銳而熟悉 (be alert and aware of new trends and ideas)

When a batter hits the ball into the infield very hard, and one of the infielders runs to the ball, quickly, and manages to throw it to first base to get the batter out, that player is on the ball.
(打者揮擊之後,內野手迅速接球,然後傳向一壘刺殺打者,這時便可稱這名內野手是 on the ball。)

“On the ball” 可用來引申某個人「反應敏捷」。

(例句)
The new publicity manager is really on the ball.
(新的宣傳經理真的很在行。)

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