Bargaining Chip (1960, 1964)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Apr 14 05:38:59 UTC 2004


The earliest citation in OED for "bargaining chip," contributed by me, is
dated 1965.  Here is an antedating I have found:

1960 E. B. Potter _Sea Power: A Naval History_ 548  In the event of a
British defeat, his [Churchill's] government might be turned out of office
and another group might use the fleet as bargaining chips at the surrender

For years I have been posing a question about "bargaining chip" that no
one has yet answered.  This is widely assumed to be a poker metaphor, but
I do not know of chips being used for bargaining in poker or any other
game.  What exactly is the metaphor?

Fred Shapiro


Ironwood Daily Globe - 3/12/1960
...or fancied, will deprive the West of any BARGAINING CHIPS at Geneva. it
-tr Playing..
Ironwood, Michigan Saturday, March 12, 1960  853 k
Page 4, col. 3:  Although they cannot express their suspicions openly during
the "great deate" on Capitol Hill, they recognize that any deterioration of
our deterrent power, real or fancied, will deprive the West of any bargaining
chips at Geneva.
  (International Whirligig by Ray Tucker, McClure Newspaper Syndicate--ed.)

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern - 12/2/1964
...the_United States 'to stay." With this BARGAINING CHIP, Washington managed
Oshkosh, Wisconsin Wednesday, December 02, 1964  732 k

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