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ball of fire (plural balls of fire)

  1. (idiomatic) A person who is especially hard-working, high-achieving, ambitious, or active.
    • 1910, Rex Ellingwood Beach, chapter 16, in Going Some: A Romance of Strenuous Affection:
      "I wonder how fast this feller is? Ever heard?"
      "They seem to think he's a whirlin' ball of fire, but that don't worry you none, does it?"
    • 1981, Jim Brosnan, "Keith Hernandez on the Rocky Road to Cooperstown," Boys' Life, vol. 71, no. 9, p. 36:
      Despite Kennedy's glowing tribute, Hernandez was no ball of fire his first year as a pro.
    • 1994, M. Scott Peck, A World Waiting to Be Born: Civility Rediscovered[1], →ISBN, page 198:
      "[T]ell me what you can about her supervisor," I requested.
      "Woman in her mid-fifties. No ball of fire. She's been with the company for twenty-two years and demonstrated no desire to climb any further."
    • 2008, Frank L. Hicks Jr., Invisible Bridges[2], →ISBN, page 203:
      "He really knows how to make a woman feel good. He's a ball of fire in bed."

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used in the expression "no ball of fire".