Bang to rights?/Dead to rights?

Posted by Woodchuck on September 02, 2002

In Reply to: Bang to rights? posted by TheFallen on September 01, 2002

: : : Does anyone know the meaning and origin of the phrase "dead-bang"

: : I haven't found the origin yet. But I am guessing that it has to do with target practice or other gunplay.

: : deadbang - Adjective 1. (of a criminal case) open-and-shut; irrefutable.1934: "If he.figures they have the evidence on him he says it is a dead bang rap." 2. certain; absolute. 1985: "This is a dead-bang winner." Adverb 1. Police usage. absolutely; without doubt; (hence) in the act; red-handed. 1919: "Come clean! We have got you dead bang right!" 2. Squarely, smack. 1978: "Got him dead-bang between the eyes." From the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.

: Can I also add the (British?) expression "bang to rights" into this melting pot? It's most frequently heard in bad British TV police shows, where in the last 5 minutes, the villain says to the detective who has just tracked him down and handcuffed him "It's a fair cop, guv - you've got me bang to rights".

Interesting. The U.S. equivalent is "It's a good collar, you've got me dead to rights." I wonder if dead-bang is the common origin?

(I've pasted a link to Dead to rights from the archives.)