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Bank on it

Posted by ESC on September 03, 2002

In Reply to: Bank on it posted by Woodchuck on September 03, 2002

: : I'm looking for the origin of the phrase "don't bank on it" or "you can bank on it."

: This phrase always makes me think of Robert Blake in "Baretta": "and you can take that to the bank".

: From The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition:

: PHRASAL VERB: bank on To have confidence in; rely on.
: ETYMOLOGY: Middle English "banke", from French "banque", from Old Italian "banca", bench, moneychanger's table, from Old High German "banc".

: That leads me to believe the original meaning may have had nothing to do with faith in banking establishments and the idea of a the bench literally being "something you can count on".

BANK "n. In phrase: 'take to (or put in) the bank (pop. by the eponymous hero of the TV series Baretta; cf. S.E. (compare Standard English)'bankable' 'prestigious enough to ensure profitability,' current since the late 1950s) to be absolutely assured of (something); to bank on. 1977 A. Patrick 'Beyond Law' 59 If I catch you on my turf again, I'm gonna push your pretty face in! And you can take dat to de bank!." From the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.

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