"on the bubble"

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Mon Nov 15 17:10:40 UTC 1999

I've always assumed (always dangerous!) that such
phrases referred to the bubble in a level, transit or
similar tool; "on the bubble" meaning square, level,
true, or plumb, or more broadly accurate, sure, "on
the mark", etc.


--- Joseph McCollum <prez234 at JUNO.COM> wrote:

> Other subject:  From where does "on the bubble"
> originate?  I know the
> term from the NCAA basketball tournament, but I used
> it saying that I was
> "on the bubble" for a promotion.  A friend asked me
> what it meant, and I
> myself wasn't sure.  The only thing I could think of
> would be some
> insect, perhaps, on the bubble that is about to
> burst.
> The other thing would be a bubble of water that acts
> as a magnifying
> glass -- those "on the bubble" receive extra
> scrutiny.


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