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Call your bluff

Posted by GPP on September 05, 2003

In Reply to: Call your bluff posted by GPP on September 05, 2003

: : I'm in fifth grade and I need to find the meaning and origin of this phrase. Can you please help me? Thanks,
: : Sax

: Hi Sax. The phrase "call your bluff" comes from poker, a card game.
: Here's a definition of "bluff":
: bluff1
: v. bluffed, bluff·ing, bluffs
: v. tr.
: To mislead or deceive.
: To impress, deter, or intimidate by a false display of confidence.
: Games To try to mislead (opponents) in a card game by heavy betting on a poor hand or by little or no betting on a good one.
: v. intr.
: To engage in a false display of strength or confidence.
: n.
: The act or practice of bluffing.
: One that bluffs.
: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
: [Probably from Dutch bluffen, from Low German.]
: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
: bluffa·ble adj.
: bluffer n.
: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

: "Call" and "bluff" are specific terms in poker; look at these two sites for explanations.

Literally, in poker, to call a bluff means "To equal the bet of (the preceding bet or bettor) in a poker game" (American Heritage Dictionary).

Thus to CALL someone's bluff means to say, in effect, I think you're just bluffing; let's see what you've got; put your money where your mouth is; put up or shut up; etc.