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Posted by ESC on October 31, 2003

In Reply to: This game is a "shoe in" for the Lions posted by pdianek on October 31, 2003

: : A "shoe in" what? A shoe in being a win, butt why?

: It's "shoo-in". Meaning that the team will "take off" and easily win, no challenge. Not that a predicted shoo-in is inevitably followed by a victory!

SHOO-IN -- a certain winner; a candidate who can only be defeated by a political miracle. Like front runner, bolt, dark horse, and many others this metaphor is taken from racing, but this one has a fraudulent background. When jockeys form a 'ring' and bet on a single horse, they hold back their own mounts and 'chase in' or shoo in' the horse selected to be the winner. 'Racing Maxims and Methods of 'Pittsburgh Phil,' published in 1908, points out: 'There were many times presumably that 'Tod' would win through such manipulations, being 'shooed in,' as it were.'...'To shoo' is a colloquialism meaning to urge gently a person or animal to go in a desired direction. It made its first recorded appearance around the turn of the twentieth century. 'Shoo-in' -- minus its crooked connotation, now only meaning 'sure thing' -- began to be used politically in the forties...The word was sufficiently secured in the political lexicon in 1967 to rate a turnaround. The 'Wall Street Journal' called the candidate hopelessly running against popular Congressman Adam Clayton Powell in New York's Harlem a 'shoo-out." From Safire's New Political Dictionary by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).

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