Posted by Bob on July 24, 2003
In Reply to: Word meaning please posted by Shae on July 24, 2003
: : What is the history of the saying 'London to a brick'?
: I hadn't heard it before. Based on the results of a Google search, it seems to be Australian.
: Phrase 'London to a brick on,' (of an outcome) extremely likely: It's London to a brick on that he'll chicken out. [popularised by race-caller Ken Howard who used it to unofficially announce winners in a tight finish while awaiting the official decision. In racing parlance it is a statement of betting odds in which a punter is so certain of the outcome that they are willing to bet London to win a measly brick. Many people unaware of betting lingo leave out the vital word on, thus making the phrase the opposite of what is intended, i.e. the odds of laying a brick to win all of London, not much of a risk]
: And from a speech by Philip Ruddock (Australian MP):
: Ladies and gentlemen, as we say in Australia, "it is London to a brick" that immigration will become increasingly important for Australia and, I believe, for the UK.
The American equivalent is "dollars to donuts," donuts (doughnuts) being very inexpensive when this phrase was coined. With inflation, it now seems less extreme than, say, London to a brick.