Keep the ball rolling with these idioms

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pic by Joel Muniz

This week I received a rather disturbing SMS from my bank. In fact, this was the second time the bank was sending this alarming message. The first time, I checked my various banking accounts and could find nothing irregular. I assumed the bank was sending this message to the wrong customer.

However, when I received the SMS for the second time which told me there had been fraud on my account my level of alarm was raised substantially and I rushed to the bank to investigate.

There was indeed fraud on my account in the amount of about $200. I was shocked. This meant I had not kept my eye on the ball. Yet how could I? I was very sure that my credit card was always in my close view and that I had not carelessly misplaced it anywhere. I was convinced that no transaction could be done without the support of a mobile phone to confirm the PIN and complete the transaction. And yet there it was. I was short of $200 dollars on a purchase I did not make.

I had very definitely taken my eye off the ball by proceeding with a transaction on the internet with an unknown source for – now that I think about it – a rather suspicious offer. The offer $3 to buy a Samsung 10. What the site did not say, was that it was a chance to win a Samsung 10 but with no guarantee of getting the phone. The site called itself ‘charity’. Yes, their charity with my money.

Now it all starts to make sense.

So I urge you keep your eye on the ball – a sport idiom derived from the many games that are played with a ball – which simply means to stay alert and be ready for action.  I was not ready at all, but fortunately the bank was.

Other ‘ball’ idioms:

  • Curve ball ( a difficult proposition – deriving from baseball terminology )
  • Different ballgame (change in circumstances)
  • Drop the ball (to miss out on doing something that then has bad results)
  • Get the ball rolling (to start something)
  • Got you by the balls (to have someone in an awkward, even indefensible position)
  • Grow a pair (show your courage)
  • Have a ball (have a great time)

Want to improve your English?

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Picture by Joel Muniz – Unsplash

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