North and south for humans and game

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 30 12:18:44 UTC 2014

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> Newspersons have been saying similar things for several years,
> often in regard to numbers: "The population of Mars is now north
> of 350, but of Venus, south of 107."

The OED has that sense with a 1978 citation:

[Begin excerpt]
north, adv., adj., and n.

2. fig. and colloq. uses.
c. Higher; esp. in north of (a figure, cost, etc.): higher than, in excess of.

1978 Guardian Weekly 28 May 10/1   Money supply growth for the past
year has ended up quite a long way north of the target band - at 16
1/4 per cent.

1991 J. Phillips You'll never eat Lunch in this Town Again 162  So
Spielberg tells me the budget's going north.
[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society -

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