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.
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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.”
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
- Warm Up
- When Hell Freezes Over
- What (why, who, how, where) On Earth
- Worried to Death
- Worried Sick (about someone or something)
More Ball Idioms
More Baseball Related Idioms
More Game Idioms
More Sports Related Idioms
More ‘Whole’ Idioms
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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.|