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Idiom sport of origin Meaning Example Sentence
the ball is in your court tennis it's your decision or responsibility to do something now "Do you think I should accept the job offer?" "Don't ask me. The ball is in your court now".
call the shots billiards make the decisions While our boss is on vacation, Bob will call the shots.
get a head start horse racing start before all others They gave the walkers a head start in the run for cancer.
get off the hook fishing escape, have responsibility removed The child got off the hook for stealing because the security camera was broken.
give something or someone a fair shake gambling try for a while before giving up You should give Nadine a fair shake before you decide she isn't good enough for the job.
get a second wind sailing have a burst of energy after tiring I was exhausted after 3 kilometres of running, but I got a second wind after I passed the beach.
give one a run for one's money horseracing try one's hardest to defeat another person I know the other team is expected to win, but let's give them a run for their money tonight.
go to bat for someone baseball defend someone Andy is asking for a salary increase, and I'm going to go to bat for him if the boss says no.
have the upper hand cards have a better chance of winning or succeeding The Blues have the upper hand in the tournament, because none of their players is injured.
hit below the belt martial arts do or say something that is very unfair or cruel Amanda was hitting below the belt when she called Adrian an unfit father.
hold all the aces cards expected to win or succeed The children hold all the aces when it comes to the father-son baseball tournament.
the home stretch baseball almost the end I think Alice's pregnancy is in the home stretch.
hot shot (big shot) hunting a person who thinks they are the best Even though Luke only placed 20th in the ski race, he thinks he's a hot shot.
keep one's head above water swimming try not to fall behind in work or other duties We are so busy during the tourist season I can barely keep my head above water.
level playing field any field sport everyone has an equal chance The spelling bee is a level playing field because all of the kids are in grade nine.
no sweat any sport no problem I told Lily it was no sweat for us to babysit next weekend.
on target darts doing the right thing to succeed We are on target to meet our budget this month.
on the ball baseball ready and able The new receptionist is really on the ball when it comes to answering the phone.
out in left field baseball nowhere near being true, nowhere near doing something correctly All of the students laughed when Joe gave an answer that was out in left field.
par for the course golf an expected circumstance Waiting in line is par for the course at Christmas time.
race against time track there is almost no time left to accomplish something It's a race against time to find a kidney donor for my cousin.
time out any sport break Let's take some time out and grab a coffee.
under the table gambling illegally I don't have a work visa, so they have to pay me under the table.
win hands down gambling easy victory The other team was missing half of its players. We won hands down.



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