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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally



All of the Japanese-English dictionaries I checked gloss ペナントレース as "pennant race," but the meaning is different. ペ ナントレース is defined in kokugo dictionaries as 公式戦 or 公式試合; when used in reference to professional baseball in Japan or the U.S., it means the regular season that begins in late March or early April. Though not defined in any dictionaries I checked, "pennant race" in English refers more vaguely to games toward the end of the season when the league championship is clearly at stake.

Citations showing the respective meanings:
2003年のプロ野球ペナントレースは28日、セ、パ両リーグが2年連続で同時開幕。(佐賀新聞, 2003年03月29日)

Having lost 90 games in 1996 and failing to be anywhere near a pennant race since 1958, when they were third, the Red Sox hired a strick [sic] rookie manager named Dick Williams. "4-wheel drive. (1967 American League pennant race)," by Dennis Tuttle, The Sporting News, September 22, 1997
(October 29, 2003)