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Phrase "on the bubble"

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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
#31 - July 16, 2016, 10:10 AM
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Never have heard it before. Lived in IN, IL, NY, and VA. But perhaps I've lived IN a bubble. :dogwalk
#32 - July 16, 2016, 01:46 PM

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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
#33 - July 16, 2016, 03:37 PM

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Never heard it. Seattle, Washington. I've also lived in Oregon and Arizona.
#34 - July 16, 2016, 03:38 PM
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I've never heard it. (Oklahoma)
#35 - July 16, 2016, 04:35 PM
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I've heard it. I live in OR, grew up in CT.
#36 - July 16, 2016, 04:52 PM

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Yes, even in education the 'on the edge' definition works -- kids who are between areas are 'on the edge' of a different one.
#37 - July 16, 2016, 05:38 PM
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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.
#38 - July 16, 2016, 06:02 PM
« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 06:31 PM by Dionna »

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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
#39 - July 16, 2016, 06:43 PM
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Never heard of it...until now. And still unsure what it means. Hahaha...

Tennessee from day 1.
#40 - July 16, 2016, 06:51 PM

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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"
#41 - July 16, 2016, 07:42 PM
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 07:49 PM by stephanie-lucianovic »
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 :lol5 I want to be a bubbleologist when I grow up!
#42 - July 16, 2016, 08:39 PM
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#43 - July 16, 2016, 08:40 PM
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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"

#44 - July 16, 2016, 10:02 PM
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#45 - July 16, 2016, 10:38 PM
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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.
#46 - July 17, 2016, 09:12 PM
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I've used it quite often in management during our interview process. From CA.
#47 - July 18, 2016, 03:18 PM
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