The United States and Its Baseball Idioms  #3 (1)


4) "Big Leagues" or "To be in the big leagues"

The big leagues refers to Major Leagues Baseball(MLB), The most important leagues of baseball in the U.S. and arguably in the whole world.  "To be in the big leagues" literally means that a player is playing in the MLB.

As an idiom, the expression has a similar meaning.  Whereas this expression once referred only to baseball, nowadays it can be used to describe anyone who is successful and among an elite group of very influential people in that field.  Basically, if you use this expression to describe a person, it means that that person has recently become very successful in their work.  Here is a sentence that uses this baseball idiom in a simple to understand way:

"He had been playing saxophone for many years but he had had very little success in that time.  Finally, after releasing his tenth album he began to have a little bit of success.  Upon releasing his eleventh album, he was quickly becoming a global superstar.  He had finally, after many years of hard work, made the big leagues."            (J.F)

お役立ち英会話表現 42
refer to 〜     言及する、表す
arguably         おそらく、ほぼ間違いなく
whereas  〜     〜ではあるけれど
little success       ほとんど成功していない (否定)

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