"on the other hand"

Posted by Henry on July 19, 2003

In Reply to: "On the other hand" posted by Ward Fredericks on July 19, 2003

: Economists (and other assorted oracles) are known for the ability to take different sides of an issue while still appearing knoledgeable by using the term "on the other hand". Does anyone know the original source of this expression.......

You can understand that it refers to an alternative. Perhaps it is an extension of this use;
"Abbé George ... mentions in [a letter] that `Maria Theresa stands with the handkerchief in one hand, weeping for the woes of Poland, but with the sword in the other hand, ready to cut Poland in sections, and take her share.' " - Carlyle: The Diamond Necklace, chap. iv.