List of idioms with the word “Ball” and the meanings. Idioms about “Ball” and expressions.
1. Barbara’s parents have told her to study medicine but she really wants to study law. How is she going to explain this to them? She’s behind the eight ball.
2. My wife wants me to hire my brother-in-law to work in my company, but I don’t want to because he’s very lazy.
***I’m behind the eight ball on this one.
Synonyms: back to the wall; in a bind/fix/jam; between the devil and the deep blue sea; between a rock and a hard place
The expression comes from the game of billiards, or pool, in which the eight ball is always pocketed last. If one accidentally sinks the eight ball before the others, one automatically loses the game. Trying to hit another ball that is too close to the eight ball is seen as a risky situation.
1. We need more people to help get this work done on time. Are you going to sit there and do nothing or are you going to help carry the ball?
2. The people in the office were sorry to see Amira leave the company. She was such a dependable worker and you could always count on her to carry the ball.
1. The principal has done so much and worked so hard to improve this school. Who’s going to keep the ball rolling when she retires?
2. Mr. Preston had managed to motivate his employees to higher production levels, and he wanted to keep them going. He wondered how he could keep the ball rolling.
1. You’ve been making too many mistakes these days. You’d better get on the ball if you want to keep your job.
2. I can’t seem to concentrate today. I’m just not on the ball.
Antonym: out to lunch
1. You have to be willing to play hardball in the business world today. If you aren’t aggressive, you’ll be taken over by the competition.
2. Mr. Norton had been mayor of a small town for many years, but when he decided to run for Congress his friends told him he would have to be prepared to play hardball. National politics can be much more aggressive than local politics.
The expression originates from the game of baseball, which uses a hard ball, as opposed to the similar game of softball.
1. Kay has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting into that college. She has bad grades and poor exam scores.
2. They don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of raising enough money to send him on that trip, because they don’t have anything worth selling.
The expression suggests that the likelihood of something happening is as small as the probability that a snowball will not melt in the fires of hell.
2. a person’s special burden; a job. (Prisoners sometimes were fettered with a chain attached to a leg on one end and to a heavy metal ball on the other.)
***Tom wanted to quit his job. He said he was tired of that old ball and chain.
***Mr. Franklin always referred to his wife as his ball and chain.
to have a lot of fun
2. Fig. to be in charge; to be considered reliable enough to make sure that a job gets done.
***We need someone who knows how to get the job done. Hey, Sally! Why don’t you carry the ball for us? John can’t carry the ball. He isn’t organized enough.
2. Fig. to make a blunder; to fail in some way.
***Everything was going fine in the election until my campaign manager dropped the ball. You can’t trust John to do the job right. He’s always dropping the ball.
2. . Fig. to be responsible for the next move in some process; to have to make a response to something that someone else has started. You have the ball in your court now. You have to answer the attorney’s questions. There was no way that Liz could avoid responding. She had the ball in her court.
2. . Fig. to remain alert to the events occurring around oneself. If you want to get along in this office, you’re going to have to keep your eye on the ball. Bill would do better in his classes if he would just keep his eye on the ball.