Baseball is an exciting sport that is enjoyed by millions around the world. Many high school and college students play this game, and some even become professional players earning huge salaries. However, whether you engage in the game or simply enjoy watching it, there are some aspects you need to be familiar with. Some examples include the rules of the game and the most commonly used slang. Many official websites give access to baseball’s rule book; however, learning the slang behind the game will require a little more effort. No need to worry, though, as in this article, we go over five must-know baseball slang terms you need to know as a true fan of the sport.
Baseball is a global sport, and with people worldwide enjoying the game, it makes sense that there are non-native English-speaking fans. This is because there are many slang words and phrases in baseball that have different meanings when used in other settings. So, hearing these baseball terms for the first time will be confusing from the perspective of someone learning English as a second language. Without further ado, here are 5 must-know baseball lingo examples for language learners.
The first time you hear the phrase “Uncle Charlie got him,” there is a good chance you won’t have a clue it’s a term with ties to baseball. However, when used in a game, it refers to a curveball. When the ball is thrown by the pitcher in such a way that it curves, this is referred to as a curveball or, more commonly, an Uncle Charlie. The idea here is to deceive the hitter into missing the ball with their swing. As for the history of this term, while there is some debate on its origins, it has been commonly used since the 1930s.
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No, this term isn’t referring to food but rather the act of lazily catching the ball as it falls into your hand. Similar to “Uncle Charlie,” there isn’t any clear information on the origin of this slang phrase. However, the most commonly accepted origin is based on 19th-century store clerks. You see, back in the day, clerks had the difficult job of reaching canned items stored high up on shelves. So, to make their lives easier, clerks would knock over the cans using broomsticks and then catch them in their aprons. This act is similar to how you would catch a fly ball, so perhaps this is why it’s commonly accepted as the origin story for where we learn what is a can of corn in baseball.
If you have ever had to deal with muscle aches, mild fever, or a headache, you should already be familiar with Aspirin tablets. A person suffering from the abovementioned ailments can take this pill and experience relief from their aches. Doctors have been recommending this drug for years, which explains its popularity. That said, in baseball, an Aspirin tablet refers to a very fast ball. The reason for this is when a ball is thrown very fast, it can appear like a small white dot, which is similar to the way an aspirin tablet looks. However, while an actual aspirin tablet can help the receiver, in baseball, it’s often the opposite.
The image of a rope in a freezer probably comes to most minds when the phrase frozen rope is used. But why would anyone freeze rope? It’s a strange term, but it makes much sense when explained. The slang term “frozen rope” is used when the hitter strikes the ball over the fence. However, aside from hitting it outfield, the ball also makes little to no change in its path, almost like a straight line. This doesn’t always happen, so when it does, it looks really cool. There are many online documents and video materials that teach how to hit frozen ropes. However, if English isn’t your native language, you might want to consider using TheWordPoint online translation services. They currently support 64 languages, so you can use their services for a number of applications, whether sports or academics related.
The hose is used in baseball to refer to the throwing arm. So, when you hear the phrase “How’s your hose?” it means “How is your arm feeling?”. As baseball is a very competitive sport, pitchers’ throwing arms can get sore and even injured.
GIDP stands for "Ground Into Double Play." It occurs when a batter hits a ground ball that leads to two outs being recorded before the play is over, typically by getting the batter out at first base and another runner out at second base. This scenario is particularly undesirable for the offensive team as it stifles potential scoring opportunities by swiftly removing two players from base. GIDP in baseball is often seen in statistics as it's crucial for evaluating a player's tendency to hit into double plays, and thereby gauge their ability to avoid detrimental situations for their team.
Baseball is filled with many slang words that can be hard for a beginner to the sport to understand at first. This is especially true if you are just learning the language. However, with enough learning and practice, you, too, can begin to use this lingo freely.
Ewan Jennings is a writer and baseball enthusiast. He played baseball starting from high school all the way to college. While he never made it to the big leagues, Ewan still enjoys watching baseball games with friends, where you will frequently see them use the terms used in this article and more.
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