Whole New Ball Game, a

Also: A different ball game

Meaning of Idiom ‘A Whole New Ballgame’

A whole new ball game is a completely changed situation or set of circumstances. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.


Want to see more videos from Idioms.Online? Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Examples Of Use

“People don’t want discs anymore. Now that streaming is becoming the standard for movies and music, it’s a whole new ballgame.”

“If you think parenting a toddler is difficult, get ready for the teenage years. That’s a whole new ballgame.”

a whole new ballgame idiom meaning and origin

Origin

It is usually assumed that this idiom came from baseball. However, the term ball game only referred exclusively to the game of baseball up until the 1940’s. 3 Chetwynd, Josh. The Field Guide to Sports Metaphors: A Compendium of Competitive Words and Idioms. Berkeley: Ten Speed, 2016.

By 1913, sports reports began using “a different ballgame” to refer to a dramatic turn of events in a baseball game and this phrase became common by the 1930’s. This phrase, and its variation a whole new ballgame do not seem to have passed into figurative use until 1960’s, when a ball game could also have referred to football or even basketball.

More Idioms Starting with W

More Ball Idioms

More Baseball Related Idioms

More Game Idioms

More Sports Related Idioms

More ‘Whole’ Idioms

This page contains one or more affiliate links. See full affiliate disclosure.

Sources   [ + ]

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
3.  Chetwynd, Josh. The Field Guide to Sports Metaphors: A Compendium of Competitive Words and Idioms. Berkeley: Ten Speed, 2016.