5 will get you 10

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri May 14 21:05:38 UTC 1999


I do not have historical/etymological comments, but I assume the sense is
clear, and I provide it here only since some respondents have indicated
that their lives have been relatively sheltered, and I assume that leaves
it up to the rest of us from time to time. It is a gambliong reference
which means, simply, "I give you two to one odds." That is, if you put up
five (and win), you get ten; if I win, I get your five.

dInIs (who will not usually give you such good odds, though he recently got
them and lost on MSU)

>        Here is an expression that's very familiar to me as a way of
>expressing confidence in the truth of a statement, yet I don't find
>in in RHHDAS nor in several other likely sources, and I have nothing
>in my own notes other that this, from last year:
>Five will get you 10 that by now most of you can't even remember who
>shot J. R.  New York Times, May 12, 1998, p. B1, col. 1
>        I can't even remember when I first heard it.
>        Any comments?
>George A. Thompson

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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