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Friday, October 16, 2015


Meaning: a difficult, strange or unusual situation (This idiom comes from baseball. The person responsible for throwing the ball towards the batter “the pitcher” has an array of different throws, one of them being the “curveball.”  It’s a particularly difficult throw to strike, as it can change direction.

Context #1 – At work

Clayton: Hey Zach, I’m not quite sure what’s going on with our manager; he really 
threw a curveball with those new company policies.

Zach: Tell me about it.  It’s unusual for changes to be made so suddenly.  It was 
definitely a curveball situation.

Clayton: I’m wondering if the new owners decided to implement the new policies as 
soon as they took over the company.

Zach: Either way, they should have warned us.  Now I’m just upset.

Context #2 – Dating

Sarah: Oh my goodness! The guy I went on a date with totally surprised me.

Leslie: Why? Was he strange?

Sarah: He hit me with a curveball.  Apparently he only likes to date for two weeks and then try to find a new girlfriend after.

Leslie: How strange.  It must be difficult dealing with a relationship like that;  Definitely a curveball.

Meaning: The idiom “curveball” means a tricky, difficult, unusual situation due to the change in direction into an unusual place.  In example #1, Clayton was upset at the unexpected and sudden new policies the company implemented.  In example #2, Sarah went on a date to meet a nice guy she could date, but the guy was unusual in his relationship expectations.  Sarah was not expecting to meet someone like that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In the boonies

Idiom: In the boonies
Meaning: very rural area; far away from large populations or urban areas

Context #1 – New Job, New Location
Kevin: I heard you got a new job and you have to move away.  Where are you going to live now Vee?
Vee: I got a great job as a Geologist in a university.  But it’s way out in the boonies.
Kevin: What do you mean?  How far in the boonies is it?
Sal: Let me put it to you this way, it takes about three hours to drive to a supermarket.

Context #2 – Survival trip
Bear: How was your trip?
Les: It was great.  It got a little scary because we were far in the boonies and we were afraid that if someone got hurt, there would be no help.
Bear: Wow! How far away in the boonies were you?
Les: Let’s just say the boonies are a couple of hours away, and we were in the boonies of the boonies.  So about a two day walk to the nearest road.

Meaning: The idiom “in the boonies” means a very rural location.  Usually, it means it’s difficult to reach, even by vehicles; it’s not necessarily a negative point, but it’s typically thought of as a negative thing.  In context #1, Vee got a new job he really likes, but the downside is that it’s very rural.  In context #2, Les was in one of the most remote locations possible.  When he says, “the boonies of the boonies” he’s trying to say they were in an extremely remote area.