Meaning of "lay it on the line"

Posted by Bruce Kahl on January 06, 2002

In Reply to: Meaning of "lay it on the line" posted by Roian Atwood on January 05, 2002

: Hello,

: I was wondering if anyone knows the roots of the phrase, lay it on the line, I was told by an academic proffesor of gender studies that it refered to the measurement of penis size in taverns during medevil times in europe, can anyone verify this? Please help?

Just my opinion.
I always thought your phrase derived from some type of sporting event---either the starting line of a foot race or the center line of tennis.