Baseball Idioms

Baseball represents a major part of American language and culture. Whether you enjoy the sport or not, it’s good to know relevant terminology in English.

Below are a few expressions you might hear at work or in everyday conversations that originated in the great sport of baseball. If you’re not familiar with basic baseball vocabulary, there is a matching exercise at the bottom of this post to help you better understand the baseball idioms I’ve included.


  • CURVEBALL: A pitch that unexpectedly curves from its straight path towards home plate, making it more difficult to hit.

The pitch

In English, when you figuratively throw somebody a curveball, you surprise them or do something that they don’t expect. For example, “Professor Noteware really threw us a curveball with that pop quiz on the first day of class.”

  • TO STRIKE OUT: When a batter fails to hit three pitches that were in the strike zone, he or she is out and must leave the batter’s box. Continue reading