Even if you are sports illiterate and watching baseball on T.V. sounds like punishment for something you did wrong in a prior life, there are some sports analogies that all working women should know to not get left out of the conversation at work. Below are a collection of the basics, ranging from the well-known to the obscure, as well as the sport referenced.
Slam dunk / touch down / home run — These are easy. If someone references these, they are saying that what ever you are working on is the equivalent of a dramatic score. (basketball / football / baseball)
Hit it home / drive it home — A message must be emphasized to result in a run. (baseball)
Play defense — Something has gone wrong and you need to CYA. (pretty much all sports)
Ball in your court–Someone is waiting on you for a response. (tennis)
Assist — Refers to a pass that led directly to a basket. In the office, you might hear it after you set up a collegue with an opportunity to speak about a recent success. ie “Thanks for the assist back there!” (basketball)
Lob–A slow high ball, typically easy to return (tennis)
Softball –An easy question, because a softball is easier to hit than a baseball (softball)
Over/under–A gambling term used to guess how many points will be scored in a game. Typically used rhetorically in the office, for example, “What’s the over / under on the number of times Gene says “um”?”
Calling them as I see them— This person is referencing a baseball umpire as their way of saying they are offering objective criticism. Beware. This is the sports equivalent of a teenage girl’s “It isn’t mean if it is true” (baseball)
Shank — Refers to when a golfer hits a bad tee shot. In the office, it means someone royally screwed up an answer to a question or an easy request. (golf)
Take a mulligan — Re-do. In the office, it usually means someone is admitting messing up and is going to try again (golf)
Next week, look for gambling terminology all working women should know!