Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday's Random Slang-o-rama: Square deal


"Square deal" is a familiar term to me, but I'll admit I'd not considered how it might have evolved. Win Blevin's Dictionary of the American West, as well as American Slang edited by Robert L. Chapman, set me straight.
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From Blevin's dictionary:
In card-playing, a fair game. The term arose from the dealer's using a pack of square-edged cards, which are harder to cheat with. By extension, any kind of fair arrangement. "A square deal" was Teddy Roosevelt's slogan in the 1904 campaign. When the term square is applied to a man, it is a compliment meaning that he's straightforward and trustworthy.

American Slang notes this phrase was in use by 1876.

Think you'd get a square deal playing with this deck?



6 comments:

Camille Minichino said...

Maybe connected to the term "right angle" for 90 degrees?

Liz said...

Always fun to learn more about phrases.

Talked to my neighbor and mentioned your series. Her mom just gave her a stack. Yeah!

Enjoyed your post on Blood Red Pencil.

Ann Parker said...

Hi Camille!
Mmmmmmaaaaaayyyyyybeeeee. :-)

Ann Parker said...

Hi Liz!
Glad you enjoy my little Wednesday outings into the world of slang. :-)
And wow, thanks for mentioning my series to your neighbor! Here's hoping she enjoys it!

Sophie Grace said...

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