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Englisch Smalltak - Smalltak auf Messen und Reisen, reden über Job und Familie, Urlaub, Sport und das Wetter. Fragen nach dem Befinden. Unterhalten auf Englisch.

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Smalltalk auf Englisch - Sportausdrücke im Geschäft

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk Englisch Sport, Sportausdrücke auf Englisch, Begriffe aus dem Sport auf Englisch, englische Sportausdrücke, englische Sportbegriffe, auf Englisch über Sport sprechen

Across cultures, languages and countries, a love of sports is something almost everyone has in common. It’s no wonder that terminology and phrases used in various sports have become an everyday part of the language.

In the US and in the UK, one’s knowledge of sports has become an important part of small talk. And – because of the similarities between business and sports – usage of sports expressions in business conversations has become idiomatic in corridors, cubicles, corner offices and board rooms around the globe. If you don’t understand these expressions, conversations might seem vague or hard to understand. Consider the following conversation:

James: Okay, Barry, that concludes my part of the presentation. The ball is now in your court.

Barry: I’ll dive right in by talking about what happened with the Terion deal and why we lost it. As you know, we submitted our proposal early, five months ago in fact. We believed being first out of the gate would put us on the inside track. Our proposal consisted of a comprehensive review of their problem and a detailed description of our recommended solution. However because of the various contingencies we were only able to make a ballpark estimate.

Meredith: And is that why we lost it? Did they expect a concrete offer even before we discussed the details?

Barry: That’s what I thought too, until I spoke with my contact there. It turns out they had a management shake-up two months ago. The decision maker we met at the tradeshow last year was sent to the showers. They brought in a new guy – his name is William Benson – who literally came out of left field. He decided to take Terion’s IT strategy in a completely different direction: Microsoft instead of IBM. From his perspective, we were backing the wrong horse. Our proposal didn’t even make it to first base with him.

Meredith: We can certainly offer a Microsoft solution if he wants one. Are we down for the count, or do you think there’s a way for us to get back in the running?

Barry: I don’t think he’s willing to play ball with us at this stage of the game. My suggestion is that we roll with the punches and try to score points with him during the year on some of the smaller projects we already have in progress there. Here’s an annotated version of the conversation that should clear up any vagueness:

James: Okay, Barry, that concludes my part of the presentation. The ball is now in your court. [tennis: it’s your turn to hit the ball; expression: it’s your turn to take action]

Barry: I’ll dive right in [swimming: to go toward the bottom of a body of water; expression: to start speaking about something or taking an action right away] by talking about what happened with the Terion deal and why we lost it. As you know, we submitted our proposal early, five months ago in fact. We believed being first out of the gate [horse racing: to be the first horse to leave the starting area; expression: to be the first to start something] would put us on the inside track [racing: to run on the inside track; expression: to have the advantage]. Our proposal consisted of a comprehensive review of their problem and a detailed description of our recommended solution. However because of the various contingencies we were only able to make a ballpark [baseball: the entire area where the game is played; expression: a guess within a certain range] estimate.

Meredith: And is that why we lost it? Did they expect a concrete offer even before we discussed the details?

Barry: That’s what I thought too, until I spoke with my contact there. It turns out they had a management shake-up two months ago. The decision maker we met at the tradeshow last year was sent to the showers [baseball: to take a player off the field and out of the game; expression: to be taken out of one’s position or to be fired]. They brought in a new guy – his name is William Benson – who literally came out of left field [baseball: an area of the playing field to the left behind the bases; expression: to be unexpected]. He decided to take Terion’s IT strategy in a completely different direction: Microsoft instead of IBM. From his perspective, we were backing the wrong horse [horse racing: to bet on a losing horse; expression: to support the wrong thing]. Our proposal didn’t even make it to first base [baseball: to hit the ball and advance to first base; expression: to make it to the first step of success] with him.

Meredith: We can certainly offer a Microsoft solution if he wants one. Are we down for the count [wrestling: to be on the ground and have to get up before the count of ten or lose; expression: to be defeated], or do you think there’s a way for us to get back in the running [horse racing: when two horses are running evenly; expression: to be a candidate]?

Barry: I don’t think he’s willing to play ball [baseball: to start paying the game; expression: to cooperate or work with someone] with us at this stage of the game. My suggestion is that we roll with the punches [boxing: when a boxer moves or rolls away from a punch to lessen its impact; expression: to adapt to a negative situation] and try to score points [general: to earn more points; expression: to gain someone’s favour] with him during the year on some of the smaller projects we already have in progress there.

Mastering the use of sports idioms requires memorisation and practise. We’ve collected some of the most commonly used expressions on the next page to help.


Häufig benutzte Sportausdrücke


ballpark estimate /figure
baseball: the entire area where the game is played
expression: a guess within a certain range
example: These are just ballpark figures.


hard to call
general: when a referee has to make a difficult decision about an event
expression: hard to decide or determine
example: The impact of last month’s executive decisions is at this time still too hard to call.
Also: The decision to hire him was a hard call.


the ball is in someone’s court
tennis: it’s someone’s turn to hit the ball
expression: it’s someone’s turn to take action
example: The ball is in their court now.


to back the wrong horse
horse racing: to bet on a losing horse
expression: to support the wrong thing
example: It turns out we were backing the wrong horse; Jason got the promotion.


to be behind the eight ball
billiards: reference to the black ball with an 8 on it
expression: to be at a disadvantage
example: Many of our projects are running late, and with the deadline next month, we’re really behind the eight ball now.


to be down for the count
wrestling: to be on the ground and have to get up before the count of ten or lose
expression: to be in or almost in a state of defeat
example: We’re down for the count on that one. It’s time to move on.


to be down to the wire
horse racing: reference to the wire at the end of a race
expression: at the very last minute
example: I finally faxed the contract yesterday, but because of problems with the machine, it was really down to the wire.


to be first out of the gate
horse racing: to be the first horse to leave the starting area
expression: to be the first to start something
example: We were first out of the gate with our new video gaming service, and as a result we now have the leading market share.


to be in full swing
baseball: reference to swinging of the bat
expression: in full progress
example: The board meeting was in full swing when a clown suddenly came in with 20 balloons, a birthday cake and some guy in an ape suit!


to be in the running /out of the running
horse racing: when two horses are running evenly
expression: to be/not be a candidate
example: Despite the serious customer service problems we had last year, we’re now back in the running to be chosen as vendor of the year.


to blow the whistle
general: reference to when the referee blows the whistle when a player violates a game rule
expression: to make information about someone or something known, often implying that the information has been kept secret or quiet

example: When Robert realised the managing director was stealing toilet paper from the stock room every week, he blew the whistle on him.


to be saved by the bell
boxing/wrestling: to be at the point of defeat when the bell rings, stopping the game from continuing and allowing you to avoid losing

expression: to be rescued from a difficult situation at the last minute
example: Our demo machine crashed and we couldn’t get it running again. We were really in a panic, but we were saved by the bell when the speaker before us went so far over his timeslot that we didn’t have time for the demo at the end.


to be up to par
golf: reference to the number of strokes expected to put the ball into each hole
expression: to be up to the expected level or quality
example: The quality of his work is no longer up to par.


to bounce something off someone
football: reference to the ball bouncing off someone’s head
expression: to present an idea for consideration and to receive an opinion
example: I’d like to bounce a few ideas off you.


to come out of left field
baseball: an area of the playing field to the left behind the bases
expression: to be unexpected
example: The announcement of our acquisition yesterday came out of left field.


to cover (all of) one’s bases
baseball: reference to touching each base while completing a run
expression: to thoroughly prepare for something by making sure every detail or possibility has been addressed

example: Maybe you think I’m being a bit detailoriented, but I think it’s important that we’ve covered all of our bases before we make a statement.


to dive right into something
swimming: to go toward the bottom of a body of water
expression: to start speaking or taking action right away
example: Let me just dive right in by stating that I am in 100% agreement with the decision.


to drop the ball
general: reference to handling the ball poorly while playing
expression: to handle things badly or make a non-trivial error
example: I have to admit we dropped the ball there.


to get to/reach/make it to first base with someone
baseball: to hit the ball and advance to first base
expression: to make it to the first step of success
example: We haven’t even been able to get to first base with them.


to have/be on/be put on the inside track
horse racing: to run on the inside track
expression: to have the advantage
example: Our existing relationship puts us on the inside track.


to score points with someone
general: to earn more points
expression: to gain someone’s favour
example: She’s certainly been scoring a lot of points with the boss because of all the deals she’s been closing.


to have two strikes against someone
baseball: to be in the position where only one more strike out will end your team’s participation in the current inning (a game segment)

expression: to be in a negative situation where only one more negative event is needed to cause failure or defeat

example: Their product sales are down and their managing director just resigned. They definitely have two strikes against them, but it’s too soon to know how things will work out.


to make/miss the first/second/final cut
golf: reference to when a player must meet specific requirements to be accepted for a game or next phase of a tournament

expression: to meet/not meet the requirements and move to the next phase
example: Nancy wanted to be our next front office manager, but she didn’t even make the first cut.


to play hardball
baseball: reference to the difference between baseball (the ball is hard) and its variation softball (the ball is larger and softer)

expression: to act in an extreme or brutal way to get what you want
example: Our competitors have started playing
hardball: they’re giving their products away to get the service deals.


to put one’s oar in
rowing: to put the oar (Ruder) in the water
expression: to give your opinion or advice without having been asked
example: The meeting was going well until one of our technicians put his oar in. He introduced so many new issues that the customer decided they needed more time before signing the deal.


to roll with the punches
boxing: when a boxer moves or rolls away from a punch (Schlag) to lessen its impact
expression: to adapt to a negative situation
example: He’s a good manager because he’s so good at rolling with the punches.


to play ball
baseball: to start playing the game
expression: to cooperate or work with someone
example: As long as you can keep your delivery dates, I think we’ll be able to play ball.


to send someone to the showers
general: to take a player off the field and out of the game
expression: to take someone out of his position or fire him
example: After refuting (anfechten) every piece of feedback during his performance review, the boss decided to send him to the showers.


to throw in the towel/sponge
boxing: reference to throwing the towel into the ring to admit defeat
expression: to admit defeat or give up the fight
example: After struggling all year trying to get media attention in the US, we decided to throw in the towel.


to touch base with someone
baseball: reference to briefly touching a base while playing the game
expression: to make brief contact with someone
example: Let’s touch base next Tuesday.

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk Englisch Sport, Sportausdrücke auf Englisch, Begriffe aus dem Sport auf Englisch, englische Sportausdrücke, englische Sportbegriffe, auf Englisch über Sport sprechen

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