bush league

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bush league

slang Subpar or inept; lame. The phrase comes from minor league baseball, in which some teams played on unkempt fields bordered by bushes, or in rural, "bush" towns. Primarily heard in US. Their operation is pretty bush league—no professionalism at all. The way you just let that forward go around you and score was bush league, dude—show some effort and play harder!
See also: bush, league
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bush league

Anything amateurish or otherwise below professional caliber. Baseball teams have been divided into two broad categories. Major league teams, also known as the big leagues, have the most professional players who play in state-of-the-art stadiums. Then there are minor league teams, composed of players on their way up or down the baseball ladder and ballparks that range in quality from almost-major league to close-to-sandlot. The latter fields, especially those in rural areas, weren't always enclosed by fences; instead they had shrubbery around their perimeters. Hence the phrase “bush league,” where the level of play was far from major league ability. The expression quickly spread to any endeavor that was less than expertly done.
See also: bush, league
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Bush-league owner who had signed him had all options
Our "Handgun Leather" columnist, veteran police officer Roy Huntington, is a strong supporter of CCW permits for private citizens, but he writes "...any untoward display of your personal iron isn't just high in the bush-league etiquette deportment, it's also just plain dangerous...and it's just plain low class."
This may sound like a lot of unnecessary work, but if you're a bush-league drywall finisher like me, you'll get better results and probably save time in the long run.
(Wherever you are, there is the heartland.) Not to put too fine a point upon it, we, by comparison, come out as lessthan-serious, bush-league, bit-players.
"These bush-league tactics are transparent for what they are: attempts to support various individual personal agendas at the expense of our children."
Lacitis reported that Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune had acknowledged the fax barage by calling Seattle the "most overrated city in the country," a "gridlocked garbage dump" and a "bush-league town."
Like some bush-league Craig Lucas, Bock ("The Audience") tells his fairy tale in a surreal idiom that shows wit and imagination.
His controversial 1995 book Why I Am Not a Muslim makes Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses look like bush-league blasphemy.
Watching Azoff agree to repair $11,000 worth of damage to a neighbor's property caused by workers installing his tennis court, refuse to honor that promise citing rock and roll rules, apparently have sugar dumped in the gas tanks of the man's cars when he complained, then settle damages out of court for $15,000 is good for bush-league yucks.
I know that one potential Tornadoes rally was stopped by a bush-league steal-strikeout combination that was so awkward that it was embarrassing, while another was ended by a double play that started with a pop fly to right field.
Petersburg nobody, Khlestakov, we now have in Sheen's eternally grinning Gammon a bush-league South London real estate agent who can't believe his luck when an entire Eastern European elite is suddenly indulging his every whim.