Dead Nuts On

Posted by Barney on December 15, 2001 at

In Reply to: Dead Nuts On posted by R. Berg on December 14, 2001

: : I know Dead Nuts On means accurate, but why?

: For several centuries now, "dead" has meant utterly, profoundly, absolutely, quite, as in "dead tired" or "dead right." This use derives from the earlier use to mean "in a manner, or to a degree, characteristic of or suggesting death; with extreme inactivity, stillness, etc." (Oxford English Dictionary; first quotation for this sense, "Wherof she swouned in his honde, And as who saith lay dede oppressed," dated 1393). Someone else will have to explain the nuts; I wasn't aware they'd been inserted.

'Dead On' means accurate. 'Dead Nuts On' means whatever you want it to mean including the extraordinary possibility of the inadvertent insertion of "Nuts" between 'Dead' and 'On' in the well known expression 'Dead On'.