Posted by Henry on May 03, 2003
In Reply to: At large posted by witchbaby on May 02, 2003
: why are criminals "at large"?
http://www.briggs13.fsnet.co.uk/book/l.htm%20says%20Large: At large is an expression used to indicate that a prisoner has escaped and is free. "Large" seems a funny word to be used in this sense but it goes back to a French phrase "prendre la large" meaning to stand out to sea so as to be free to move.
See also - other French phrases in English.