phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: As safe as houses

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 25, 2007

In Reply to: As safe as houses posted by Carol Roberts on June 21, 2007

: Where does the phrase safe as houses come from?

This is an oft-asked question. I'll repeat the answer given by "Mavens' Word of the Day":

'This expression means 'perfectly safe', but some of the variants refer to physical safety, whereas others are used in the context of 'a sure bet'. As safe as houses, first recorded in 1859, has endured in both meanings to the present day. Partridge quotes Hotten's A Slang Dictionary as an explanation of its origin, saying that the meaning may have arisen "when the railway bubbles began to burst and speculation again favoured houses."' To see this explanation in context, go to:

http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20010611