“Who’s on First?”
This is a famous line from a comedy routine by Abbott and Costello. They are discussing the players in a baseball game; the problem is that the First Baseman’s last name is WHO. If you have the time, try to find the script online and read it out loud. Or, even better, see the YouTube video.
The names given in the routine for the players at each position are:
- First Base: Who
- Second Base: What
- Third Base: I Don’t Know
- Left field: Why
- Center field: Because
- Pitcher: Tomorrow
- Catcher: Today
Here is just part of their comical discussion:
Costello: And you don’t know the fellows’ names?
Abbott: Well I should.
Costello: Well then who’s on first?
Costello: I mean the fellow’s name.
Costello: The guy on first.
Costello: The first baseman.
Costello: The guy playing…
Abbott: Who is on first!
Costello: I’m asking YOU who’s on first.
Abbott: That’s the man’s name.
Costello: That’s who’s name?
Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.
Abbott: That’s it.
Can you think of anyone you know that has a funny name? I grew up with a girl called Nina (pronounced like the number nine – ah). Her last name was Klock. Sometimes names don’t translate well into a new language and it may be a good idea to change to a nickname while you are in your new country studying English.
Grammar & pronunciation note: Who’s = who is This is pronounced the same as whose.
We use whose when we need to know who something belongs to. E.g. Whose hat is this?
If you would like to learn English in Canada or the USA – and perhaps play some baseball – you can take an English course in San Francisco, New York or Vancouver! Please email us at either email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.