AE 271 – Expression: Straight / Right Off The Bat

Learn Australian English in this Expression episode of Aussie English where I teach you how to use the expression Straight / Right Off The Bat.


AE 271 – Expression: Straight / Right Off The Bat

G’day guys.

Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. I hope you guys have been having a great week.

And for everyone joining us for the first time welcome.

Thanks for listening to the Aussie English Podcast where I teach you Aussie English.

The English spoken Down Under in Australia.

So I just got home from having Thai food with some of the girls, well, and a guy from work.

So from the museum where I study. Thai food’s pretty popular in Australia.

And so we went down to a place called Lemon Grass on Lygon Street in Melbourne.

It was really really good. And we had like green curry, red curry, coconut rice, and then curry puffs, I think some spring rolls, and some roti bread as well as chicken skewers.

So it was amazing. Big feed.

So I’m feeling pretty full as it is at the moment, but I thought you know I’ve got the night off.

I should come back and record the next episode of Aussie English.

So, the expression today is “straight off the bat” or “right off the bat”.

So you can use either “straight” or “right” with this expression.

So as usual we’ll go through defining the words within the expression or expressions “straight off the bat” and “right off the bat”.

“Right” can mean a few things. It can mean a direction, you know, the opposite to left.

If you turn right you’re not turning left. So, I turned right at the intersection.

It can also mean correct, as in, “I’m right and you’re wrong”.

But in this case, in the case of the expression right off the bat it means completely, fully, entirely, utterly, thoroughly.

“Straight” also has a few different meanings including extending or moving in a uniform direction.

So in a line, in a straight line, as you would say. So for example, it was a straight road.

So it doesn’t turn to the left doesn’t turn to the right. It just goes in a straight line in front of you.

It’s a straight road. It could also mean properly positioned.

So, to be level, to be upright, to be symmetrical.

So for example, when I was a kid my grandparents would always tell me to sit up straight, as in straighten my spine, sit up correctly, sit upright, sit up straight.

And you could also say your t-shirt or tie or your pants on straight.

So as opposed to them being twisted or crooked you put them on straight.

So they’re nice, neat, upright, symmetrical, straight.

In this case though, it means without hesitation or deliberation.

So without prior planning. So for example, “We went straight off home after school”.

So it’s very very direct. No hesitation, no deliberation. It is what happened immediately.

So it’s similar to right, but not exactly the same, but in the context of this phrase it means the same thing off.

I’m sure a lot of you will know what “off” means. It’s the opposite of “on” for example.

So something can be off if it’s turned off or it can be on if it’s turned on. If it’s an appliance say like a TV or a microwave.

It can also mean moving away from something. So, “He fell off his bed”.

He’s like fallen from his bed and he’s moving away from the bed.

So he’s falling off. I ran off into the distance.

So I’m running and I’m going away from wherever it is that you’re talking about.

And the ball came off the bat, which is sort of how it ties in with this expression.

So the ball comes off the bat it means that the bat has hit the ball and the ball has moved away from it.

It’s gone off, it’s come off, it’s moving off away from the bat.

And a bat, if you haven’t gathered already, is something that you hit a ball with.

So, it tends to be a long piece of wood with a handle.

You know, it’s been shaped, it’s been fashioned into an instrument, an implement that is used to hit balls, and hit balls in games.

So games like cricket, baseball, it could be table tennis.

You probably refer to that as a table tennis bat instead of a tennis racket that’s used in tennis, for example, because it’s made of solid wood.

So, for example, “he hit the ball with his cricket bat”. That’s what a bat is.

So, hopefully you get a sense for the different words in this expression straight off the bat or right off the bat.

And so now as usual, we’ll define what the expression means.

So when we use straight off the bat or right off the bat it means straight away or right away, as in immediately, straight away at the beginning, at the start of something, immediately.

So if something happens right off the bat or something happens straight off the bat it means that it happens immediately, right now, straight away, right away at the beginning.

So I looked up the origin of this expression, and it originates, unsurprisingly, from the sport of baseball where you hit a ball with a bat that’s kind of rounded, and then you have to run to four different bases.

So the expression references, obviously, the ball coming off the bat so the ball is being hit by the bat, and the ball is moving away after a successful strike.

So the ball is moving right off the bat. It’s moving straight off the bat.

And so after a perfect hit this is immediately followed by the batter running to first base.

So in baseball you’ve got four bases. First, second, third, and fourth or home base.

And this immediate response taken by batters after hitting the ball is likely how this expression got its figurative meaning.

So how it came about, of doing something very quickly, immediately, and without delay, without deliberation, without thought.

So batters usually drop that bat straight after it’s hit the ball and they start running.

So they swing at the ball right after hitting the bat goes flying out of their hands quite often and they run to first base.

And so the age of this phrase dates back to about the 1870s or 1880s, and obviously baseball must have been pretty popular back then, and it probably originated in America seeing as baseball isn’t really popular in Australia or Britain.

And let’s go through some examples like usual guys.

Examples:

1.

So say you’re a teenager who’s at high school.

And you go to high school each day. You get dropped off by your parents or you get the bus.

I used to always get the bus to high school. You study. You hang out with your friends. You then come home.

And every day when you get home your mother or your father who is already at home waiting for you, every day as soon as you walk inside the first thing they say is “How was your day?”.

And so you could say, “Every time I get home straight off the bat they ask me how I am. Every time I get home right off the bat mom is like, “How was your day?”. Every time I get home straight off the bat dad wants to know what I’ve been up to. “How’s your day been mate? What have you been up to? Did you have a good day?”.”

So he or she asks me straight off the bat or I get asked right off the bat “How was my day?”.

2.

Example number two, say that someone’s using Tinder. You know what Tinder is right?

The dating app that people use on their phones to match with other single people in the surrounding area.

So I’m sure you know what Tinder is. It’s used worldwide.

Imagine you’re using Tinder and you match with a lot of people.

And the first person that you go out on a date with turns out to be a perfect match.

So not only were they an actual match on Tinder, but they were a match in real life where they were a great person.

You hit it off. You get along really well.

And you ended up getting into a relationship with this person because the period that you guys are dating goes so well.

You end up boyfriend and girlfriend. You end up as partners.

You could say that straight off the bat you matched with someone who is perfect for you.

So you didn’t have to spend much time searching for “the one”, as in the one perfect match, because straight off the bat, right off the bat you’ve found that person.

So, it happened at the beginning. It happened when you first started using the app.

It happened immediately. It happened straight away. It happened right away.

It happened straight off the bat. It happened right off the bat.

3.

So imagine in example number three here that you’re a vego.

And a vego is a vegetarian someone who only eats vegetables, so plants.

They don’t eat animals. They might eat eggs, I guess, and drink milk, but they don’t eat meat.

So, imagine you’re a vego. You’re going to a lunch with friends and family, and maybe it’s a barbie.

So, it’s a barbecue. There’s a heap of meat. So you’re going to have snags, which are like sausages.

You’re going to have lamb chops. You’re going to have prawns.

Maybe there’s some chicken as well. And sometimes that’s referred to as chook, chicken, chook.

But seeing as you’re a vego, obviously, it’s going to be all there.

All the meat is going to be there, but you’re not going to be interested.

You’re not going to be keen on eating it. So, you don’t want to go anywhere near the meat.

You are not interested at all. You’re a vego.

So you’re addicted to certain veggies such as avos, which is slang for avocado, salad, potato mash, which is like when you mix milk with potatoes and butter and salt and mash it up, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, whatever it might be, you just love your veggies.

(You) absolutely love them. So, as soon as you arrive you see the food on the table.

You go straight past the meat and just fill your plate up with veggies.

So you get say straight off the bat, right off the bat, you go for the veggies.

You go for the salads, the avos, all the nice broccoli and carrots, all the good stuff, but you avoid the meat.

Straight off the bat you skip the meat and you pile the veggies up on your plate.

Right off the bat you go for just the veggies. Typical vegos, huh?

So, hopefully by now guys you get the terms straight off the bat, right off the bat.

I’m sure that some of you will have picked this up immediately.

So I would say that you understood the expression straight off the bat.

You understood what straight off the bat and right off the bat is.

And as usual, let’s go through some listen and repeat exercises. So listen and repeat after me guys.

This is your chance to practice your Australian pronunciation if that’s what you’re working on.

Otherwise, use the accent that you’re trying to improve, whether it’s American, British English, whatever it is, you know, feel comfortable and just practice the English more so than my accent if that’s what you’re after.

Let’s go.

Listen and repeat:

I did it straight off the bat.

You did it straight off the bat.

He did it straight off the bat.

She did it straight off the bat.

We did it straight off the bat.

They did it straight off the bat.

And now that I do this again but with “Right off the bat” and I’m going to try and say it a little more naturally than I would when I’m trying to enunciate very well to help the less advanced listeners.

So, just give it a go. You don’t have to be perfect. Practice speaking a little quick.

It can help. And it’s good practice. So, let’s go now with “Right off the bat”.

Listen and repeat:

I did it right off the bat.

You did it right off the bat.

He did it right off the bat.

She did it right off the bat.

We did it right off the bat.

They did it right off the bat.

One little thing here that I want to point out for you guys as we’ve been doing recently with a little bit of a breakdown of the pronunciation at the end here for the lesson, is that in this phrase in both of these phrases “I did it straight off the bat” or “I did it right off the bat”.

You’re going to notice that the “T” at the end of the word straight actually sounds more like a “D”.

And this actually happens because the “T” there is surrounded by vowels.

So on one side of the word straight you’ve got “-aigh-” before the “T” sound.

And then on the other side you’ve got the “o-” before you say the word “off”.

And it’s the same with the word “right”.

At first you’ve got the “-igh-” sound then the “-t”, and then the “o-” at the start of “off”.

So there’s a vowel sounds on either side of the “T”.

And so when this happens in English, and this happens in all dialects of English. It’s very very common.

It’s not just Australian English. We say the “T” by flapping our tongue.

So instead of really well, really properly, enunciating that “straigh-T” sound, we go straight into the next vowel sound the “o-” at the start of “off”, and we flap the tongue to make the “T” sound.

So instead of saying “straigh-T off”, we say “straigh_Doff”. Did you hear that?

So “straigh-T off”, I could say if I want to use the “T”, “straigh-T off”, but when I speak quickly I say “straigh_Doff”, “straigh_Doff”, “straigh_Doff”, “straigh_Doff”. I did it straigh_Doff the bat.

So it’s a very… it’s kind of like a muted “D” sound.

And now I’ll do that with “right off the bat” as well.

“I did it righ_Doff the bat.” Did you notice it there?

“Righ_Toff” with the “T”, “righ_Doff” with the muted sort of “D” sound.

So the sound is made just from flapping the tongue so you kind of only just touch where you would touch for making that “T” sound in your mouth.

It’s going to take a little bit of practice guys, but you’ll get it if you work on it.

And we’re going to go through that in this episode in the Aussie English Supporter Pack bonus material.

I’ve actually set up a bunch of exercises to cover this specific thing.

The “T” tap or the “T” flap that makes it sound more like a “D”.

And so that’s part of the Aussie English Supporter Pack that I try to do each week.

This week we’re going to be going over all the slang that we did in this expression episode.

We’re going to go over the phrasal verbs to build up, to stack up, to pile up, and to queue up, which means to accumulate.

So we’ve got exercises to go over that.

We’re also going to go over the “T” becoming a “D” sound from flapping.

So that we just sort of talked about a little bit. They’re all have exercises for you to practice that sound.

And then in the grammar I’m going to go over comparing the Simple Past Tense, as in say “happened”, “asked”, “went”, to the Past Perfect Tense as it “had happened”, “had gone”, “had asked”.

So, I’m really really enjoying making the Aussie English Supporter Pack stuff at the moment guys.

We’ve got about 40 members in the Aussie English virtual classroom in the private Facebook group that I use that I’ve created for all of the members who use the Aussie English Supporter Pack once a week to get these episodes with a heap of extra bonus content.

Breaking down the podcast episode of the week so that you can really take your learning to another level.

I’m really trying to design this to help you guys accelerate your English learning as quickly as possible, and just absorb everything.

Really go over everything thoroughly.

So, if you’re interested in giving it a go sign up. It’s a dollar for one month.

You can try it for a month. You can come into the private Facebook group.

We all work together there at the moment on phrasal verbs.

We have daily phrasal verbs that we work on.

And you’ll also get access to all of the previous episodes and their transcripts, their MP3s, their exercises, the exercise MP3s as well, all the bonus material.

So, come and check it out guys.

Let me know what you think, and we can work together to take your English to the next level.

Anyway, that’s long enough for today guys.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, and I’ll chat to you soon.

All the best.


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