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David Barnhart dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Tue Jul 22 21:03:29 UTC 2008

A glance at e-OED suggests that the expression is far older than the
Olympics.  See quotes for 1760, 1816, 1858, 1869.  The figurative sense as
in the quotation from the New Yorker magazine:

"After that it will be only a hop, skip, and jump to a nice round
million-dollar super-spectacular." (<WBD)

Is not as well treated.  Incidentally, and from a personal usage point of
view, _hop, step, and jump_ brings to mind the athletic undertaking, while
_hop, ski, and a jump_ (my variant) brings to mind only the figurative usage
as sited above.


Barnhart at

The American Dialect Society -

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