Note linguistque - idioms decoulant de l'athlestisme
Source : Sportsidioms.com ainsi que SportsIdiomsBlog, dont le propriétaire, Jean Henry, nous a obligeament permits de republier ces idioms.
IDIOM: a head start
Meaning 1: to start with an advantage. ahead of the other runners
Example 1: They gave him a head start because he was so little.
Meaning 2: to begin early
Example 2: They have a head start because they faxed their contract to us and mailed it to the others.
IDIOM: the inside track
Meaning 1: The inside of a track is shorter than the outside; it is easier to win if one is on the inside of a track.
Example 1: The horse started on the inside track.
Meaning 2: to have information or a position which will make it easier to win
Example 2: He will be able to talk to the head of Disney first, because he has the inside track. He worked with Disney on a previous project.
IDIOM: jump the gun
Meaning 1: to begin before the official starts the race
Example 1: He jumped the gun and will have to start again.
Meaning 2: to begin too soon
Example 2: Please don't jump the gun and begin to prepare the budget until all the figures are here.
IDIOM: pass the baton
Meaning 1: to give the baton a hollow cylinder of about twelve inches to the next runner in a relay race.
Example 1: He finished his lap and passed the baton to the next runner.
Meaning 2: to continue the task
Example 2: The older generation is passing the baton to the younger generation.
IDIOM: against the clock
Meaning 1: to compete in sports in a timed event or against another competitor's time
Example 1: She's running against the clock and has only two seconds to better Cindy's time for first place
Meaning 2: to be in a hurry to meet a deadline or time for completion of something
Example 2: I'm running against the clock here on this project. The architectural drawings are due next week.
IDIOM: race against time
Meaning 1: to run or compete in a timed event (same as against the clock)
Example 1: The horse raced against his previous time on the track.
Meaning 2: to hurry to meet a deadline
Example 2: We better race against time. The copy for the newspaper is due at four o'clock.
IDIOM: from scratch
Meaning 1: from the starting line for a race
Example 1: Her time from scratch to finish in the mile was just over four minutes.
Meaning 2: from the beginning
Example 2: I need you to work on this legal brief from scratch.
IDIOM: to scratch (transitive verb)
Meaning 1: to eliminate a horse from a particular race
Example 1: The horse was scratched from the race.
Meaning 2: to eliminate or stop a project
Example 2: Scratch that ad campaign. It won't work.
IDIOM: put something or someone through its paces
Meaning 1: to move in a particular way usually with speed along a measured course
Example 1: The harness horse was put through its paces.
Meaning 2: to show someone or something how to do something according to a predetermined standard
Example 2: Please put the new secretary through the paces and show her the routines.
IDIOM: hit one's stride; reach one's stride
Meaning 1: the horse is running its fastest
Example 1: That horse hit its stride at the second turn.
Meaning 2: to do one's best
Example 2: He's finally hit his stride and is doing his job well.
IDIOM: give one a run for one's money
Meaning 1: to compete for money
Example 1: That runner will give the crowd a run for its money
Meaning 2: to do the best one can in a competitive situation
Example 2: We'll give our competitor a run for his money. I think we can make the best computer peripheral.
Meaning 1: to be second
Example 1: She was runner-up in the hurdles.
Meaning 2: to be second in any competition
Example 2: We were runner-up in that ad campaign. We will not get the contract but we came close.
IDIOM: off to a running start
Off to a flying start
Meaning 1: moving at the start
Example 1: The candidate got off to a running start with a lead of ten thousand votes
Meaning 2: a good start on something
Example 2: Good outline. You're off to a running start on that essay.
IDIOM: down to the wire
Meaning 1: refers to the wire used to mark the end of a race
Example 1: They were neck and neck down to the wire.
Meaning 2: the last few minutes before something must be accomplished
Example 2: I'll have to stay late tomorrow to get this finished. I'm down to the wire on the proposal.
IDIOM: (just) under the wire
Meaning 1: Wire refers to the finish line.
Example 1: The winner finished just under the wire ahead of the second horse.
Meaning 2: just barely in time on time
Example 2: I turned in my paper to English class just under the wire.
IDIOM: in the stretch; down the stretch; in the homestretch
Meaning 2: in the final stages of an event such as a business or political campaign
Example 2: Although the Democrats were ahead in the political campaign in August the Republicans moved ahead in the stretch.
*Some of these idioms are also relevant to horse-racing.