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A.Word.A.Day--sticky wicket

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Somehow I wasn't born with the sports gene. Sure, I've played an innings or two of cricket, but that's about it. Since I'm never one to listen to running commentaries on radio or watch live telecasts, my exchange with other sports enthusiasts typically goes like this:

Person in the supermarket checkout line: So what did you think of last night's game between the Yankees and the Flying Ducks?
Me: Yes.

Well, this sports-challenged temperament doesn't have to stop one from using sporting words. There are countless terms from the world of sports we use metaphorically every day, whether it's when we exhort someone to "be a sport" or when we chatter about the economy, saying that it's not dead "by a long shot".

This week's AWAD brings together a few words from the world of cricket, football, baseball, and other games and sports, that are used in real life as well.

sticky wicket (STIK-ee WIK-it) noun

A difficult, awkward or uncertain situation.

[From cricket, when the ground is partly wet, resulting in the ball bouncing unpredictably.]

"British Prime Minister Tony Blair, maneuvering his way through the sticky wicket of the Middle East, wanted to stress the need to maintain an international coalition."
William Safire; Fog of War: Von Clausewitz Strikes Again; The New York Times Magazine; Nov 18, 2001.


Fame is a bee. / It has a song / It has a sting / Ah, too, it has a wing. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

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