Alphabetical Idioms

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
Track sports: The bar set for hurdles, high jumps, or pole vaulting is set high and higher for the runners or jumpers as the meets progress and the competition gets more difficult.
Sentence 1
The record for pole vaulting was set at Donetsk by Renaud Lavillenie. The bar was at 6.16 meters.
Meaning 2
The lowest bar set is the least restrictive and the least difficult.
Sentence 2
"The Corwyn (gun) bill would set a national bar at the lowest denominator."

Derivation

Track sports.

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
The football game is almost over. The quarterback of the team is desperate. He tries at the last minute a very long pass, a Hail Mary pass.
Sentence 1
The Dallas quarterback tried a 50 yard pass, a Hail Mary pass, hoping he could tie up the game.
Meaning 2
A politician or say a business man or woman decides he is about to lose an election or an account and has a desperate strategy to get back "into the game," a Hail Mary pass.
Sentence 2
Many commentators and the electorate thought Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as candidate for vice-presidential spot on the 2012 Republcan ticket was a Hail Mary pass.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
A sports playbook is a coach's book of strategies for a game or season.
Sentence 1
The New England Patriots need a new playbook for the 2015 season if the first string quarterback is not allowed to lead his team for four games.
Meaning 2
A stategy of moves to reach a desired objective.
Sentence 2
I've got a playbook to get my girlfriend back.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to start with an advantage, a head before the other runners
Sentence 1
They gave him a head start, because he was so little.
Meaning 2
to begin early
Sentence 2
We have a head start, because they faxed their contract to us and mailed it to the others.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
A basketball game is started by the referee throwing up the ball between two players who try to tap it to a member of their team. It is also used when two opposing players have joint possession of the ball.
Sentence 1
The referee called for a jump ball because she could not determine which player controlled the ball.
Meaning 2
Control issues: The inability to determine anything.
Sentence 2
It is a jump ball. The two proposals are so close.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
difficult to win; to win against great odds
Sentence 1
That horse is a long shot to win the Belmont race.
Meaning 2
very difficult to do
Sentence 2
That stock is a long shot to hit one hundred on the American stock exchange.

Derivation

In ancient England, archery contests were held to see who could make the longest shot with a bow and arrow. This expression is so old it has become imbedded in the language as an idiom associated not with a particular sport, but all sports,games, and activities associated with risk. For example, if "long shot" was used literally in a sport, it would be associated with shooting an .arrow, a bullet or something thrown in track and field. Thus it's a long shot for an archer to hit the bullseye at 90 meters.

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to deliver or receive two punches, one right after another
Sentence 1
The boxer knocked out his opponent with a one-two punch combination.
Meaning 2
to be in a difficult situation because two negative things have happened to one
Sentence 2
I got a a one-two punch before the election: Two important groups were against me. I lost.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
The game was postponed because of rain. (The game could be postponed for any reason, but the term is "rain check".) The rain check itself is the ticket that can be exchanged for a ticket at a later date.
Sentence 1
The Phillies' game was postponed because of rain, and the spectators were given another ticket for a future game.
Meaning 2
a postponement with a promise of a future meeting
Sentence 2
"Something has come up, and I can't make our luncheon meeting. How about a raincheck? "
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to hold all your cards above the table; to not control a gambling game with anything hidden.
Sentence 1
The dealer said, "All cards above board, please."
Meaning 2
to be honest, forthright, tell the truth
Sentence 2
We want everything above board in this discussion.

Derivation

Gambling devices were sometimes controlled under the table giving the game owner an advantage.

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
racing bets where one bets that the same competitor will place in first, second and third
Sentence 1
Let's bet across the board on American Pharoah.
Meaning 2
equally for everyone, everyone gets the same
Sentence 2
The new president will ask for resignations across the board.