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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: dewsanddamps on July 15, 2016, 03:43 PM

Title: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dewsanddamps on July 15, 2016, 03:43 PM
Hey, everybody--I need a little help. Are you familiar with the phrase being "on the bubble"? And what region are you from?  :thankyou
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: andracill on July 15, 2016, 03:51 PM
CO -- mtn west -- and yes. :)
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Kell on July 15, 2016, 03:51 PM
Sure! It would be familiar to anybody who follows college basketball nationwide.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: andracill on July 15, 2016, 03:52 PM
^ Not how I know it (of course, I don't really follow college bball, so there you have it). We use it in education quite often.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Marissa Doyle on July 15, 2016, 03:54 PM
No clue here (New England).
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Artemesia on July 15, 2016, 03:57 PM
I've never heard it. (Canada)

what does it mean??
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dkshumaker on July 15, 2016, 04:18 PM
I've heard of it! I grew up in Wisconsin but now live in Virginia.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: RebeccaL-G on July 15, 2016, 04:30 PM
I've heard it: CA.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: David Wright on July 15, 2016, 04:32 PM
Yes, I know it. (Ontario, Canada)

But I don't hear people under 30 ever use it.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dewsanddamps on July 15, 2016, 04:40 PM
I've never heard it. (Canada)

what does it mean??

Sorry, Arty. It means to be in danger of not making the cut. So if there are ten openings on a team, and you know you rank somewhere around tenth or eleventh among people trying out, you'd be on the bubble.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: HDWestlund on July 15, 2016, 04:43 PM
Never heard of it, and I've lived in all of the west coast states.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: C.K. on July 15, 2016, 04:43 PM
Ontario, Canada too and I've heard it in recent years but in terms of TV shows being on the bubble (in danger of being cancelled) - I don't follow basketball at all.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: olmue on July 15, 2016, 04:52 PM
I have never in my life heard that term. I'm from... scratch that, I'm from nowhere.

If it's a sports term, then I definitely won't know it.  :hiding
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dinalapomy101 on July 15, 2016, 05:00 PM
Western NY -- nope.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Pons on July 15, 2016, 05:21 PM
So. California   Yes, I've heard it and even know what it means, but I'm old. :)
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Mrs. Jones on July 15, 2016, 05:35 PM
I'd never heard of it, but asked my husband and he had. He said it means "on the edge," which is exactly what Katie said.

 :grin3
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: JFriday on July 15, 2016, 05:41 PM
Never heard it before. Southeastern PA.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: EricJ on July 15, 2016, 05:55 PM
I always thought it meant the bubble in a carpenter's level, and if the bubble was dead center, everything was level (and therefore acceptable)?
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: JodyJS on July 15, 2016, 06:02 PM
Yep, Missouri. We also use it to mean undecided about something, "I'm on the bubble about going to dinner tonight."
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: andracill on July 15, 2016, 06:46 PM
In education, it usually means kids are between sections: ie, on the bubble -- not average but not gifted.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Christine B. on July 15, 2016, 07:25 PM
I've heard it. (Los Angeles.)
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Ev on July 15, 2016, 07:50 PM
Kentucky. I've heard it, but don't use it myself.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: AnneB on July 15, 2016, 08:28 PM
I always thought it meant the bubble in a carpenter's level, and if the bubble was dead center, everything was level (and therefore acceptable)?

Me, too.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Artemesia on July 15, 2016, 08:43 PM
Interesting!

I always thought it meant the bubble in a carpenter's level, and if the bubble was dead center, everything was level (and therefore acceptable)?

Me, too.

but that could mean the bubble in a level is right in the middle, so neither left nor right. therefore, undecided.

Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: EricJ on July 15, 2016, 11:03 PM
but that could mean the bubble in a level is right in the middle, so neither left nor right. therefore, undecided.

A bubble moves back and forth from the middle if something ISN'T level, and eventually finds the middle once it is--Then, a perfectly level and proper plane is "On the bubble".  (Meaning the marked center point where the bubble is supposed to be.)
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Arona on July 16, 2016, 06:36 AM
Never heard it before. Lived in two northeastern states and one southeastern state. And I'm definitely over 30.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: JennaWren on July 16, 2016, 06:56 AM
Hmm. I've never heard of it either (CT/MA).

Edited: Just asked my super-sporty 13yo son, who also has never heard of it.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Vijaya on July 16, 2016, 07:42 AM
Never heard of it, Katie, and we watch basketball. At first I had the same thoughts as Eric -- a level.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: lauriew on July 16, 2016, 07:55 AM
No, but I'm not a sports person. (NJ)
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: mrh on July 16, 2016, 09:16 AM
Yes, also with the "on the edge" meaning. Wisconsin.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dewsanddamps on July 16, 2016, 10:10 AM
Hmm, this is all very interesting. Thanks, everybody!  :thankyou

My copy editor hadn't been familiar with the phrase and did some research. She came up with the meaning I had, but found it as being especially associated with Indiana--which is, of course, especially associated with basketball. Seems like those of you who aren't sports fans are less likely to have heard it.

I had been going to lobby for keeping the phrase--my character's from Indiana--but enough of you are uncertain in one way or another that maybe that's not a good idea.

Again, thanks--this is very helpful.  :grouphug2
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Dionna on July 16, 2016, 01:46 PM
Never have heard it before. Lived in IN, IL, NY, and VA. But perhaps I've lived IN a bubble. :dogwalk
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: JennaWren on July 16, 2016, 03:37 PM
Update. Just asked DH (huge sports fan) if he'd heard of it, and he immediately said yes, and I asked him to explain, and here is what he said (I typed as he talked):

"Sure. It's being on the verge. Anyone who follows the NCAA to any level of interest, will be familiar with the term. The NCAA tournament, the college teams, in the weeks leading up to the selection, there are teams that are "on the bubble," meaning they are on the verge of making it. Anyone who pays attention to sports will have heard of it, especially in basketball."

So, there's another view.  :grin3
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Melissa K on July 16, 2016, 03:38 PM
Never heard it. Seattle, Washington. I've also lived in Oregon and Arizona.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Tammi on July 16, 2016, 04:35 PM
I've never heard it. (Oklahoma)
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: AnnH on July 16, 2016, 04:52 PM
I've heard it. I live in OR, grew up in CT.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: andracill on July 16, 2016, 05:38 PM
Yes, even in education the 'on the edge' definition works -- kids who are between areas are 'on the edge' of a different one.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Dionna on July 16, 2016, 06:02 PM
Funny. I would've guessed it meant everything was about to turn into a disaster...like you're standing on a thin film about to burst and there'll be nothing beneath you to hold you up. But now I know.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dewsanddamps on July 16, 2016, 06:43 PM
Jenna, I think your husband is right that you run into it most commonly when talking about which teams make it to March Madness.

I'm just shocked that so many of you aren't basketball fans.  :eek5 :kiss
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dkbrantley on July 16, 2016, 06:51 PM
Never heard of it...until now. And still unsure what it means. Hahaha...

Tennessee from day 1.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: stephanie-lucianovic on July 16, 2016, 07:42 PM
Yes, and I'm from Minnesota (originally) though have lived in Michigan, England, Boston, and now California.

I've heard it refer to sports teams as well as it now being used in the entertainment industry to discuss whether or not TV shows will/will be renewed for a new season, so it's now definitely being applied in a broader sense.

My D.C.-area raised, New Jersey/Massachusetts-educated husband is aware of it to the point of telling me that it's in such prodigious use, NCAA basketball-wise, that there's people who study "bubble-ology"
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dewsanddamps on July 16, 2016, 08:39 PM
 :lol5 I want to be a bubbleologist when I grow up!
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: stephanie-lucianovic on July 16, 2016, 08:40 PM
DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS, KATIE!
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Jayca on July 16, 2016, 10:02 PM
TX
Yes--from sports and in education especially, but I've used it myself in reference to other situations where something/someone was "on the verge/edge"

Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: dewsanddamps on July 16, 2016, 10:38 PM
DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS, KATIE!

 :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on July 17, 2016, 09:12 PM
Yes from Long Island, NY too. I'm also not a sports person. I'm not sure where I've heard it but it feels outdated to me as a phrase. It's not kid speak nor was it particularly common. I think we'd say on the edge or on the line, like a spinner in a board game where you have to spin again.
Title: Re: Phrase "on the bubble"
Post by: Sunflowerscribe on July 18, 2016, 03:18 PM
I've used it quite often in management during our interview process. From CA.