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bush league

noun, Baseball.
Origin of bush league
1905-10, Americanism


[boo sh-leeg] /ˈbʊʃˌlig/
inferior or amateurish; mediocre:
a bush-league theatrical performance.
1905-10, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bush-league
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “Al” nodded knowingly, and the whole thing was a pantomime, a wordless play, that made Sumurun look like a bush-league production.

    Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
Word Origin and History for bush-league

bush league


"mean, petty, unprofessional," 1906, from baseball slang for the small-town baseball clubs below the minor league where talent was developed (by 1903), from bush (n.) in the slang sense of "rural, provincial," which originally was not a value judgment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bush-league

bush league

adjective phrase

Mediocre; second-or third-rate; bush, small-time: a bush-league hoodlum/ Your ideas are invariably bush league

noun phrase

  1. A baseball minor league of professional or semiprofessional players (1908+)
  2. Any subordinate, apprentice, or amateur enterprise: The road companies are sometimes bush leagues for aspirants to Broadway (1908+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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