(come) out of left field


1. unusual or unexpected






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the idea/remark/problem came out of left field

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This expression is used to refer to something that is untypical or surprising, especially with regards to its source, with 'left field' being the metaphorical origin of something unusual. The surprise factor involved means that things coming 'out of left field' are often very difficult to plan for, deal with, or properly understand. However, its connotations are not all negative. Sometimes a brilliant idea or moment of inspiration can come in this way. It is used in both a social and professional context, and is similar to the term 'out of the blue.'

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  1. The question came out of left field, and the politician seemed uncertain about how to answer it.
  2. Her harsh remark towards me was totally out of left field. I thought we were on good terms.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. That idea seemed to totally come out of left field! What made you think of it?
  2. We thought we were prepared for everything, but that problem came out of left field. 

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