right off the bat

“Right off the bat” means done in a hurry, without delay. Similar phrases are: lickety-split   and as fast as greased lightning.

The phrase likely arose from baseball, where, after a successful hit, the batter takes immediate action and runs to first base.

In newspapers of the 1880s, the expression was used both in relation to baseball, but also in the figurative sense of doing something fast. This example is from the Albion New Era newspaper, 1883: “A person unused to it would net catch one ‘fly’ out of fifty, and as for stopping and holding a hot liner right off the bat, he might as well attempt to gather in a solid shot fired point blank from a Parrot gun.”

Another example comes from the Biddeford Journal, 1888: “Let me hear that kid use slang again, and I’ll give it to him right off the bat. I’ll wipe up the floor with him.”

Slang? My goodness! I’m glad that man can’t hear my language when I’m annoyed.


Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: