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Batting cleanup

  • Batting cleanup is an American idiom. An idiom is a word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the idiom batting cleanup, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.


     

    Batting cleanup means to finish a job that others have started. The implication is that someone who is batting cleanup is the most competent. In some cases, batting cleanup is part of the process. In other cases, the person batting cleanup is saving the situation. Batting cleanup is an American idiom that is taken from the sport of baseball. In baseball, the fourth person in the batting lineup is batting cleanup. He is the most powerful hitter and is expected to hit a home run that will drive in everyone on base. The expectation is that each of the first three batters landed on base during their turn at bat. The phrase batting cleanup came into use around 1910 to describe the process in baseball, then came into widespread use as an idiom about 50 years later. Related phrases are bat cleanup, bats cleanup. Note that cleanup is a closed compound word in this instance.

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    Examples

    Over the past few weeks, even as China has seen fewer and fewer cases of the coronavirus, its State media, particularly Xinhua, has been batting cleanup for the Xi Jinping regime and verbally assailing the United States. (Firstpost)

    As for meltdowns, I thought it would be either Miss Fame, Violet or Pearl, after they entered the workroom at the start of the episode full of dramatic sighs, followed by an all-smiles Jaidynn Diore Fierce, the dream team of Katya, Ginger and Kennedy imitating Charlie’s Angels and Max batting cleanup. (The Guardian)

    Despite the national concern over automation and globalization, the end result is that globalized products often end up routed back to Mechanicsburg, where Heckman and his trainees find themselves batting cleanup for the global supply chain. (The Carlisle Sentinel)


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