Posted by Rube on April 29, 2004
In Reply to: Off The Cuff posted by ESC on April 28, 2004
"On the cuff apparently arose at the turn of the century. Since bartenders commonly wore starched white cuffs at the time, the theory that our term for 'on credit' derives from bartenders jotting down the debts of patrons on their cuffs during the rush of business is an appealing one. 'On the arm' probably derives from 'on the cuff"
I was trying to think of this phrase yesterday. I knew there was an "on" equivalent to "off the cuff" for credit. I actually thought of and rejected "on the cuff" - it sounded right to my ear but I figured "nah, can't be,'