Posted by Gary Martin on July 25, 2006
In Reply to: Re: No-holds-barred posted by ESC on July 25, 2006
: : What's the meaning of no-holds-barred? What is its origin?
: No holds barred -- "Without any restrictions. The term is believed to come from wrestling, where normally certain holds are not permitted. It came into general use about 1940..." From "Southpaws & Sunday Punches and other Sporting Expressions" by Christine Ammer (Penguin Books, New York, 1993). Page 147.
I think Ammer is a little little late with 1940. See No holds barred.