What does the idiom "The ball is in your court" mean?
Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does The ball is in your court mean? In what situations is The ball is in your court used?
Meaning of "The ball is in your court"
The idiom 'the ball is in your court' means that it is now up to someone else to take action and make the next decision. This phrase comes from the sport of tennis, where the ball is served from one side of the court to the other. The phrase implies that the ball has been served over to the other person, and it is up to them to respond. In other words, the responsibility for the next step rests with them.
The phrase 'the ball is in your court' has its origins in the sport of tennis. In the game of tennis, the ball is served from one side of the court to another and whoever is receiving the serve must hit it back. This phrase implies that the responsibility for the next step is with the person receiving the serve - or, figuratively speaking, the ball is in their court.
The phrase appears to first appear in print in the 1910 novel “The Millionaire Baby”, by Kate Douglas Wiggin, which includes the line, “It's up to you now. The ball is in your court”.
In general usage, this phrase is used to indicate that it is now up to someone else to take action, make a decision, or respond. It is typically used when a person has done their part, given the other person the necessary information, and now it is up to them to make the next move. It is commonly used in both professional and social contexts.
- I have given you all the information you need, so now the ball is in your court and you can decide what to do next.
- I have sent in my application for the job, so now the ball is in their court and I'm waiting to hear back from them.
- I have given you my opinion on the matter, so the ball is in your court and it's up to you to decide what to do.
The universal role of idioms
"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.