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Balle

Prendre la balle au bond (French). Strike while the iron is hot; make hay while the sun shines. The allusion is to certain games at ball, which must be struck at the moment of the rebound.

Renvoyer la balle à quelqu'un
(French) To pay one off in his own coin. Literally, to strike back the ball to the sender.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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