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Learn the Lingo: 10 Sports Terms That Became Business Terms

12/03/2013 12:23 EST | Updated 02/02/2014 05:59 EST

From The Locker Room To The Boardroom

While sports may seem like an insular world, the truth is that sports terminology has invaded almost every aspect of everyday life. We all know that it means to "get your head in the game" or have an idea from "out of left field." This is especially true in the business world where it seems as though the comparisons between sports and office life are endless. Everyone wants to "hit one out of the park" and "knock out" the competition.

There are hundreds if not thousands of sports terms that you might hear at the office, and you may have even heard some without realizing it. We've narrowed it down to the Top 10 Sports Terms That Have Become Business Terms.

10. The Ball's In Their Court

A tennis term that means "it's up to them". If you've made an offer to a client or a supplier, you can only wait for them to reply, because the ball's in their court.

9. Bush League

If you feel someone's behavior is poor or if their code of ethics is lacking, you might say that they're acting bush league. It's a term from a plethora of sports and it refers to a low level of minor leagues, far away from the top. If an organization is acting bush league, they're not being very professional.

8. Keep Your Eye On The Ball

In baseball, a hitter must following the ball from the pitcher's hand to increase their odds of hitting it with their swing. In our world, its an expression meant to convey that you need to keep your focus on what's important.

7. Full Court Press

In basketball, it's an aggressive defensive tactic meant to force the opposition to turn the ball over. In business, the term is usually used to convey the great efforts someone goes to in order to impress a boss or a client.

6. Down To The Wire

When a deadline is fast approaching and your still trying to complete a project, you might say that it's coming down to the wire. This comes from horse racing, where a piece of wire was strung across the finish line.

5. The Gloves Are Off

If you're in a particularly contentious meeting or negotiation, you might say that when things start to get nasty the gloves are coming off. This comes from hockey where players will drop their gloves before they fight.

4. Low Blow

When a rival uses a dirty or underhanded tactic to undermine you, it's like a low hit below the belt. This comes from boxing where fighters are not allowed to punch their opponents below their waist, for obvious reasons.

3. Drop The Ball

Definitely not something you want to be known for. Coming from baseball, football, and a host of others, dropping the ball means that you've had the opportunity to do something positive, but you've fumbled the ball away, potentially costing your company.

2. Have Someone In Your Corner

This term comes from boxing, where a fighter will have a group of people in their corner of the ring to offer advice and mend their wounds between rounds. At the office, its very important to have co-workers or a mentor supporting you and your initiatives.

1. Slam Dunk

"How did your presentation go?"

"It was a slam dunk! They signed on right away!"

Not just for basketball anymore, whenever something great happens, it's a slam dunk. As in, your promotion is a slam dunk!

You might not agree with this order, but hopefully its given you something to think about next time you're looking to spice up conversations at the office. Use them properly, and that big raise will be a slam dunk!

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