one more tautology

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Apr 28 15:47:55 UTC 2010

On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> I just found myself using this one:  "Fair is fair".  Lots of hits,
> but it's hard to count given all the ones for "How fair is fair
> trade?" and the like.

G.L. Apperson's _English Proverbs_ dates "Fair is fair, work or play"
to 1710 (Samuel Palmer, _Moral Essays on Proverbs_ 31). OED2 has the
more colloquial "fair's fair" ['(reciprocal) fairness is called for']
from 1898 (Google Books has it from 1840).

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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