Thirteen and the odd

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Thu Nov 14 09:36:14 UTC 2013

ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:

> Here is an extracted excerpt from a book claiming that the phrase is
> special-purpose rhyming slang invented by Runyon. Perhaps you've
> already seen this in GB?

It's an interesting suggestion, but the dating of examples shows that
Runyon is actually a rather late user of an expression that was already
falling out of use.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words

The American Dialect Society -

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