a ball that breaks like it's nobody's business

JBPARK

Senior Member
Hi,

I've been looking for a neat expression to modify a "curve ball" in baseball that breaks a ton in front of the plate.

Do you think it will sound OK to use the phrase, "like it's nobody's business" in this instance?


As in:

"He's got some nasty stuff, a curve ball that breaks like it's nobody's business at the plate."
 
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  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    For the expression 'like nobody's business' you do not include 'it's'.
    In your sentence, that phrase, for best effect, should be at the end.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Alls I know about the baseball is that it's American. In this forum we recently learnt that 'like nobody's business' has currency in AE - so why not put them together?

    "He has a curve ball that breaks at the plate like nobody's business."

    I presume that this would mean the ball somehow violently switches direction in mid-air (maybe when quite close to the batting man)?
     
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    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    Another expression just popped up in my head and just wanted to run it by our veterans to see how it falls on native speakers' ears.

    "He throws a nasty curve-ball that breaks like a waterfall in front of the plate." (referring to the downward movement at the plate.)


    Actually it's an expression that often gets used among Corean baseball commentators. Would it get through to folks in the states?
     
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    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Waterfalls don't break in my mind ... perhaps drops like a cliff or drops off a cliff ... waterfall is too wet and disperse to describe the action of a small solid sphere.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    The problem is which way does the curve ball break? I think it isn't just just downwards, or is it? I think it can go at an angle or sideways. I'm not sure.

    Not serious: He has a curve ball that breaks like a hummingbird at the plate. :)

    I think you needs something to convey strongly changing direction. Again, I'm not positive what the curve ball typically does at the plate.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I was afraid of that, but didn't want to "break it" to JB. :) Maybe you mean a different pitch, JB?
     

    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    Waterfalls don't break in my mind ...
    In my defense, I was just using the phrase "like a waterfall" as a sort of simile, with "waterfall" not having any direct semantic correlation with "break" but merely serving as a simile in the greater context of meaning. Maybe it just reads that way anyway regardless of my intention.

    I was just trying to describe a ball that breaks downward in such a dramatic fashion that it reminds me of seeing a waterfall, the image of water falling downward.

    Am I pushing it too far, trying to associate the image of a waterfall with a ball breaking downwards?
     

    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    I believe whether the curve-ball really breaks or not is the outside the scope of this forum.:)

    In my defense again, I see many baseball people use it all the time and I was just jumping on the bandwagon.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    JB, Certain pitches do break at the plate (which you said in the OP), but just not the curve ball. A curve ball does "break", but not abruptly at the plate, if that makes sense. It breaks more during the length of the pitch. I think that may be clouding the query.
     

    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    P, well, I first thought you were veering too much off the topic like one of those wicked breaking balls:D but it suddenly dawned on me that you might be onto something here. Anyway, I guess my original "breaking like a waterfall" is more or less a flop.
     
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