"ringer" = someone with unexpected assets?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Oct 16 04:27:00 UTC 2008

For me, "ringer" doesn't only mean someone (such as a horse)
substituted for another competitor fraudulently.  In other contexts,
it can mean someone who arrives with unexpected capabilities.  (The
example I have is a copyeditor who knew enough about the subject
matter to help the author improve the text -- pointing out errors, etc.)

This sense doesn't seem to be in the OED, and a superficial look on
the Internet failed to turn it up either (Google "define ringer",
Wikipedia, urbandictionary).


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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