Language lessons across the USA and Canada

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The language of baseball

Baseball-Dictionary.jpegBeing British, I’m baffled by American sports such as baseball and football. I’m pretty sure one’s the national pastime and the other is the national obsession, but I couldn’t tell you which was which, despite the best efforts of my American friends.

Perhaps then, I should get myself the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, now in its third edition. A friend sent me a link to this article, an enjoyable introduction to the history of the dictionary, which now includes 10,000 entries compiled by researchers, fans and volunteers.

The language definitely looks interesting, with terms like “doozy maroony”, “fandango” and “whiz chuck” being thrown around. And as the author says, the baseball language transcends time:

Dickson points out that when Call Ripken Jr was honored as one of the 100 greatest players of the 20th Century at the 1999 All-Star Game with the likes of Ted Williams and Carlton Fisk, the shortstop thought how cool it was that the language of baseball transcends different eras. “We talked baseball,” Ripken told The Boston Herald “with the same dimensions and strike zones.” (Huffington Post)