Posted by R. Berg on July 24, 2003
In Reply to: Word meaning please posted by Kit 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]
: : : http://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/p/dictionary/slang-l.html
: : : 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.
: : : http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/transcripts/transcripts01/uk_foreignpolicy_101201.htm
: : 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.
: Americans use donuts instead of bricks? No surprises there then.
The English use bricks instead of doughnuts? No wonder they have bad teeth.