English Idioms Book On Sale From July 6-10, 2017

Learning American English idioms is important for learning to speak English fluently. I wrote a book of the 250 most common idioms that are used in business English. These are idioms I have heard frequently while working in American companies during the last 30 years.

If you can learn one new idiom a day, your English speaking skills will be much higher.

Today’s idiom is:

back-of-the-envelope calculations

A rough calculation.

My back-of-the-envelope calculation is that this product will be at breakeven within a year.

Origin

Back-of-the-envelope describes when a person grabs any available piece of paper (such as an envelope or piece of scrap paper) to make a quick calculation with a pen or pencil. Since the calculation is done in haste and without a calculator or spreadsheet, the implication is that the calculation is rough, not 100% accurate.

The book is on sale from July 6 to July 10, 2017 on Amazon and the link is here: https://goo.gl/wt6ECX

All my English as a Second Language books are published on Amazon and the book series can be found on my Amazon Author Page at https://goo.gl/DyFjck

American English Idioms: Ballpark Figure

American English has dozens of idioms from the game of baseball. These idioms are common in English, and especially business English. I heard these idioms dozens of time while working and so I have written several blog posts about these very American English idioms. Business English uses many sports idioms because they express ideas about competition, winning and losing.

IDIOM

ballpark figure

To give a rough approximation or estimate.

I don’t need to know an exact figure right now. Just give me a ballpark figure on roughly how many units we can sell per month so I can coordinate with the production team on how much raw material we need to order.

American baseball parks vary in size and this gives ballpark estimate to mean a rough calculation
American baseball parks vary in size and this gives ballpark estimate to mean a rough calculation

Origin

Baseball is played in an enclosed space called a “park”. Other sports are played in enclosed areas called a “stadium”

This idiom refers to a baseball park, which is an enclosed space, but a baseball can be hit and land in many places within the ballpark, and so estimating where a ball might land is an educated guess, an inaccurate estimate or rough approximation within acceptable grounds.

Also, baseball parks in various cities are not all the same size; some are larger than others, in contrast to a football (soccer) or American football field or basketball court that are always the same size in length and width.