Archive for November 13th, 2010

November 13, 2010

In the ballpark

If it is in the ballpark, it is about right. Pic: mychinaconnection.com

If somebody asks you whether their proposal or estimate was “in the ballpark” or you are requested to make a “ballpark” estimate you are not required to do anything with a ball at all – at least not in the literal sense.

The expression “in the ballpark” requires some explanation: means within a certain area or range, close to what is expected plus minus a little bit.  Here are some examples that could give you a better idea how that phrase is used.

Homeowner to contractor: “how much are you going to charge for the kitchen remodel?”

Contractor: “Hard to say, it really depends on a number of things …”

Homeowner: “I understand that, I don’t need an exact number, just give me a ballpark number.”

And

Garage sale customer: “how much do you want for the used lawn mower?”

Seller: “$50”

Customer: “No way, that isn’t even in the ballpark, I was thinking $10.”

Of course, you guessed it, this is another expression borrowed from baseball.

November 13, 2010

Apple of my eye

she is the apple of my eye, pics: © Joseph Cortes | Dreamstime.com

An America expression that has nothing to do with real apples in eyes.  Literally it is the central dark part of the eye but figuratively it means something – or more frequently – somebody one cherishes  and appreciates above others.

I have heard it used a lot with children and their parents.  “Ricardo loves his little daughter.  She is the apple of his eye.”

It can be used referring to objects as the following example shows:

Mom: “Okay, you can wear my diamond bracelet to the formal school dance but I want you to guard it like the apple of your eye.”

Teenager: “okay, mom, whatever!”

The expression is quite old and can be found in Shakespeare’s work and in early English translations of the Bible.  It is common and used mainly in casual conversation.