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Make a killing

Posted by Erica on December 15, 2006

I know the meaning of "make a killing" but I have been unable to find the origin of this phrase. When did it first appear in the language and how did it come about? If anyone can answer this question I'd be very grateful, as I need to know this for a short story I am writing. Sorry if someone else has asked this; I didn't see this phrase on any other thread. Thanks!