Posted by David FG on May 24, 2006
In Reply to: "Banged to rights" posted by Bronday on May 24, 2006
: I understand it to be a term used by police/criminals but what does "banged to rights" actually mean and where does it come from?
The phrase is 'bang to rights' and is used (supposedly) in the longer phrase 'You've got me bang to rights, constable'.
If it was ever used it was a very long time ago: it has passed beyond even the stage of being a cliché. It's use these days would provoke only a snigger.
'Bang' here is used to mean 'precisely', much as it is in 'bang in the centre'. 'To rights' means correctly, justifiably. So the whole means something like, 'you have caught me fairly and squarely'.