Posted by Wayne Shepherd on January 15, 2005
I was talking in a chat area with friends last evening and used the term, "dead to rights." As I hit send, I realized that I had never written this phraze before. Then I had to wonder...could it be "dead to rites?"
Both seem to make sense. One meaning that you are SO BUSTED that you have no right to challenge.
The phraze can mean to be guilty of something, without question. However, it can also mean to be caught in an obvious situation. If someone is being read their last rites, it seems obvious they are dead or dying. Thus: dead to rites.
If anyone has a clue as to the origin of the phraze...and the definitive spelling, a reply would be appreciated.