Friday, June 8, 2018

BRING YOUR A GAME

Idiomatic Meaning: Arrive with your top attitude and ability because with today’s competition you are going to need it; deliver a good performance; a person’s best effort, abilities, or achievement:
Literal Meaning: In this context, “A” is not an article, but an adjective, describing the skill level one needs to play a game. However, it can also refer to the first game in a collection of games.  
Usage: Informal, spoken and written, American and British English. Most commonly found in a competitive environment, such as sports or business. The letter “A” must be pronounced as a long A, and should be capitalized.
Origin: Mid – 20th Century, American English – In 1969 an article appeared in “Gentleman’s Quarterly” about a golf course in Hilton Head South Carolina. The course was considered very challenging and playing it required one to “bring her/his A game.” This was the first recorded use of the phrase, so we can assume that it was around orally for at least 20 years prior.  The letter A is frequently associated with being first and best. In sports there is frequent talk about the A team as opposed to the inferior, B team.
Why is this funny? In the cartoon, we see two young boys playing video games. One tells the other that he has organized his games, or apps, in alphabetical order, so that the one or ones beginning with the letter A, will be first. The other boy challenges him to bring his first game or his “A game” and play for money. He is boasting that he’s a better player and that if the first boy wants to win, he’ll have to be extra skillful, in other words he has to “bring his A game.”
Sample Sentence: She “brought her A game” to play in the World Series of Poker.

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