Posted by ESC on November 03, 2003
In Reply to: Benchmark posted by Lotg on November 02, 2003
: I know what it means, but where was this term first used. It has an industrial sound to me, although now of course it's used everywhere.
I don't have a date of origin.
BENCH MARK - "A surveyor's mark cut in some lasting material such as a rock or the wall of a building to act as a reference point when determining the elevation of an area. In Britain it consists of cuts in the shape of a broad arrow with a horizontal incision across its tip. When making the reading, an angle iron was inserted in the incision to form the bench on which the leveling staff was rested. Hence the name." From "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).