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a difficult, strange or unusual situation (This idiom comes from baseball. The
person responsible for throwing the ball towards the batter “the pitcher”
has an array of different throws, one of them being the “curveball.”
 It’s a particularly difficult throw to strike, as it can change

Context #1 – At work

Clayton: Hey Zach, I’m not quite
sure what’s going on with our manager; he really 

threw a curveball with those new
company policies.

Zach: Tell me about it.  It’s
unusual for changes to be made so suddenly.  It was 

definitely a curveball situation.

Clayton: I’m wondering if the new
owners decided to implement the new policies as 

soon as they took over the company.

Zach: Either way, they should have
warned us.  Now I’m just upset.

Context #2 – Dating

Sarah: Oh my goodness! The guy I
went on a date with totally surprised me.

Leslie: Why? Was he strange?

Sarah: He hit me with a curveball.
 Apparently he only likes to date for two weeks and then try to find
a new girlfriend after.

Leslie: How strange.  It must
be difficult dealing with a relationship like that;  Definitely a curveball.

Meaning: The idiom
“curveball” means a tricky, difficult, unusual situation due to the change
in direction into an unusual place.  In example #1, Clayton was upset at
the unexpected and sudden new policies the company implemented.  In
example #2, Sarah went on a date to meet a nice guy she could date, but
the guy was unusual in his relationship expectations.  Sarah was not
expecting to meet someone like that.

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