bush leagues


Senior Member
Dear all,
this is from the very beginning of the story by Dorothy Parker Just a Little One.

This is a nice highball, isn’t it? Well, well, well, to think of me having real Scotch; I’m out of the bush leagues at last.

Does DP play with "Ivy league"? Then it's clear.
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Its origin is in baseball. There were professional leagues (major leagues) and then there were rural leagues of less skilled players. The rural leagues were referred to as "bush leagues".

    If you are "out of the bush leagues" the presumption is that someone recognized your talents and you are now playing in the major leagues. As a metaphor it means you are in the upper echelon of your industry.


    English - England
    Bush league: "mean, petty, unprofessional," 1906, from baseball slang for the small-town baseball clubs below the minor league where talent was developed (by 1903), from bush (n.) in the slang sense of "rural, provincial," which originally was not a value judgment. (definition from Google.)


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You should also note that conversationally you sometimes hear the "league" part deleted.

    I can't believe you did that. That's so bush.
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