Posted by Lewis on January 15, 2007
In Reply to: Top of his game posted by ESC on January 14, 2007
: : : : : he was writing at the top of his game what is the meaning of this phrase which is said about a writer.
: : : : : thanks
: : : : It is said about a lot of things. Whatever vocation or path in life a person is most associated with or known for is "his/her game." To be at the top of it is to be the best he/she has ever been in this profession/sport/vocation. I hate using slash/vergula this way, but any other way is just as confusing. Would you like a translation into actual English?
: : : : SS
: : : At his or her peak or prime.
: : I'm sorry, I'm not sure if ESC's post is a correction, or an alternate phrasing. My post emphasizes skill and ability. I don't know if ESC wishes to substitute physical fitness, good physical shape. Obviously, physical fitness is very important to be at the top of your form, at least in sports, although I think more than that is required to be at the top of your form. I had something more figurative in mind.
: : For "top of one's form," these are examples from the OED: "1933 A. POWELL From View to Death iii. 89 It had come at a time when he was not feeling at the top of his form. 1947 L. P. HARTLEY Eustace & Hilda vii. 138, I can't pretend that she was at the top of her form."
: : A discussion in German that Google educes has a short glossary, including: "to be at the top of one's game: to be in top form, to be at one's best".
: : Sports is naturally a good place to be "at the tope of one's game." Here's a paragraph about Canadian-born golfer Dawn Coe-Jones. "With three professional wins in her 20 years on Tour, Coe-Jones knows how it feels, no matter how long the wait, to be at the top of one's game."
: : I like the notion that cosmetics can make one feel at the top of one's game. "'The book] Beauty Junkies, in its balanced reporting, allows the reader to reflect on the notion that these costs are offset by the confidence one gains through looking and feeling one's best, and at the top of one's game,"
: : The term, like so many, is a bit elastic, but not so much as to make its meaning difficult to grasp.
: : SS
: Alternate phrasing. I am all for good physical shape. But peak or prime means more than just physical fitness. It means to be at your best.
the phrase doesn't imply physical fitness (IMO) only that the person is 'on form' and doing well at their particular specialism - 'game' means any activity, but particularly competitive ones - including business or academia.
if somebody is 'at the top of their game' it means the equivalent of 'on form to record a personal best', not that they would be THE best.