g Idioms

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
any game in which two players oppose each other There are many more idioms using the term "game" as a noun, for example: It's a whole different game; It's a whole different ball game; It's a new game; That's an old game. There are also more idioms using "game" as an adjective as in game plan (above) and He's game. (He will play the game). The student or reader can think of ways to use this idiom in sentences or his or her own, at work, at play or at home. Other terms commonly used which derive from many sports and games, rather than a specific one, are those associated with play, player, and teams.
Sentence 1
Tennis is a game at which two can play.
Meaning 2
similar strategies that two people play, often in opposition to win or cause psychic harm
Sentence 2
"Oh, so you've had and affair! Two can play that game.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
a strategy that changes the game
Sentence 1
You might need a game changer for your marriage.
Meaning 2
changing a business, war or personal strategy
Sentence 2
"Go from a game player to a successful game changer. The Oxford MBA is your opportunity to transform yourself and your ambitions."
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
a plan to win the game
Sentence 1
What's the game plan for the play-off?
Meaning 2
a plan to win in anything in life, if not life itself
Sentence 2
What's the game plan to win this advertising contract?
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to be at a disadvantage in playing the game as above
Sentence 1
I got the short end of the stick.
Meaning 2
to get (have) less than one thinks one should have; to feel cheated
Sentence 2
I always get the short end of the stick.

Derivation

This dates back to the medieval gambling practice of throwing a stick to your opponent who would catch and hold it. Players would alternate hands around the stick until one won by having "the upper hand" on the stick, no room being left for another hand.

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to begin to understand something, to be actively involved
Sentence 1
You'll get into the swing of things soon. You've only been here a month.
Meaning 2
to be actively involved
Sentence 2
The president of the corporation told his financial officer that he was doing well; he was getting into the swing of things.

Derivation

This idiom refers primarily to the word "swing" as an action and not to a specific sports term.

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to take-off or leave the ground (The engine is already started and the plane is on the runway.)
Sentence 1
The children got their model plane off the ground.
Meaning 2
to have begun something and be on the way to a successful conclusion or completion
Sentence 2
If you don't get your work done, this project won't get off the ground.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to understand something
Sentence 1
You're getting better at surfing. You're get the hang of it.
Meaning 2
to understand something
Sentence 2
Are you getting get the hang of that new business?

Derivation

The terms "hang ten and hang five are surfing terms referring to the number of toes used to grip the side of a surfboard. The use of many of the "hang" terms could have derived from these surfing terms.

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
A player is out if he doesn't hit the ball hard enough to get to first base and is tagged out. If he gets to first base, he may score a run.
Sentence 1
The batter hit a line drive and got to first base.
Meaning 2
to advance something, to do well enough to get a good start on something
Sentence 2
I wish I could get to first base with my boss.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to shake the dice without cheating
Sentence 1
I hope the dealer will shake the dice fairly.
Meaning 2
to treat someone evenly, to be fair
Sentence 2
Do the poor in this country get a fair shake?
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to compete for money
Sentence 1
That horse will give the crowd a run for it's money.
Meaning 2
to do the best one can in a competitive situation
Sentence 2
We'll give our competitor a run for their money. I think we can make the best computer peripheral.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to give a fish a line in order to catch it; to give someone a line/rope in order to pull them in
Sentence 1
I hope to catch a nice German Brown with this line, hook, bait, and sinker. Throw out a line to that boat, so they can dock at the pier.
Meaning 2
to tell someone something favorable so they become interested in you; usually the person wants a date
Sentence 2
That line you gave Amy, that you had never been in love before you met her, is not true.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to give another ship plenty of room to pass by
Sentence 1
Give the tanker a wide berth.
Meaning 2
to stay away from someone or something
Sentence 2
Give the drug dealer a wide berth. He is bad.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to shoot the best one can
Sentence 1
He gave his best shot at the target and made a bull's eye.
Meaning 2
to do one's best
Sentence 2
See what you can do. Give the assignment your best shot.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to give the game away by not playing well or showing one's strategy to the opposing team
Sentence 1
The team didn't play well. They gave the game away. Don't give the game away by showing your cards.
Meaning 2
to show or reveal a strategy
Sentence 2
If you show them the ad, you'll give the game away.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
follow the rules of the game
Sentence 1
Please go by the board. You advanced too far.
Meaning 2
bending the rules
Sentence 2
Did Enron go by the board? They bent the financial disclosure rules.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to try to win
Sentence 1
She went for it and won the World Cup downhill.
Meaning 2
to try one's best
Sentence 2
Go for it! Try to be a doctor.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to go off the deck of a boat into the water
Sentence 1
There was a terrible storm and the captain yelled, "man overboard."
Meaning 2
to do too much, to do something to excess
Sentence 2
Don't go overboard on decorations for the party. I don't want to spend too much.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
in baseball a batter can "pinch hit" or substitute for another batter
Sentence 1
Send in the first baseman to bat for the pitcher.
Meaning 2
to substitute for someone; to support someone
Sentence 2
Will you go to bat for Jane? She's trying to get a promotion.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
1) a home run in baseball with the bases loaded (on all bases); 4 runs scored. 2) in tennis: the player wins all four tennis opens: the French, Wimbledon, Australian and the U.S. 3) in the card game, bridge, when a player takes all 13 tricks.
Sentence 1
Rafael Nadal won 14 and lost 6 grand slam tournaments.
Meaning 2
A super win
Sentence 2
The Republicans scored a home run in the 1952 election when Eisenhower ran for President. The Republicans won both the Senate and the House.

Derivation

The original meaning may have come from baseball.

IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
the event
Sentence 1
We're going to the "Big Game" this year, the Stanford-Cal football game.
Meaning 2
competition, as in business, relationships or most of life
Sentence 2
There are international rules for the game of war; poison gas is forbidden.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to begin the game
Sentence 1
Let's start the ball rolling. Begin the game.
Meaning 2
to begin anything
Sentence 2
Start the ball rolling on the Domino account. I want to see the ads in a month.
IDIOM ►
Meaning 1
to win or begin a sport by having the last hand hold on a stick or a bat
Sentence 1
Johnny got the upper hand and said he wanted to bat.
Meaning 2
to have an advantage
Sentence 2
The development of the nuclear bomb gave the United States the upper hand in the Second World War.