Student or Learner
Is a risky moment avoided called "close call"? Is it common? And what do you think "call" in there means?
A: Watch out, Derek!
B: Whoa, that baseball almost hit my head
A: Yes, it was a really close call.
B: Thanks for warning me.
I'm pretty sure it comes from sports. Think of baseball. A runner is "out" if the fielding team can throw the ball to the baseman before the runner touched the base with his foot. The umpire must make a "call" of safe or out. Often these events (ball in glove vs. foot on base) happen very near in time to each other. Those situations are a "close call."
By extension, something that very nearly happened the other way (like almost getting hit in the head, in your example) is a close call.
He makes the call. But it was "close." Say the runner is out. He was maybe 0.25 seconds away from being safe. It's very close. It's a close call. The runner was out, but he was very nearly safe.
Thanks a million for your kindness and patience!!!