on the ball, be

Idioms & Phrases

on the ball, be

Also, have something on the ball. Be especially capable or efficient, as in These programmers really have a lot on the ball. This term originated in baseball, where it was used for throwing a pitch with exceptional speed, spin, or some other deceptive motion. [Slang; early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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