Posted by Ward Fredericks on November 28, 2003
In Reply to: Ace up your sleeve posted by Sax on November 28, 2003
: This sounds like a card player's phrase, but what does it mean, please? And when did they start using it? Thanks very much - Sax
::: Card players often don't get the cards they want to win a hand. Those who have some dexterity and are dishonest will sometimes put 'an ace up their sleeve' to be secretly delivered to their hand when it will do the most good. In the old days in the old west (USA) you could get shot if you were found doing that.
Today, the term is also used anytime someone has a backup "plan B'; a backup plan to accomplish whatever they are attempting to do. They are said to have an ace up their sleeve -- this you don't get shot for.........and it's a good idea to have one of these.