Posted by Brian from Shawnee on December 05, 2003
In Reply to: 'bet that worked a treat" posted by James Briggs on December 05, 2003
: : : : In a transPacific exchange the Aussie blond(e) suggested that a bit of behavior probably was destined to have a positive result (I guess). She said "bet that worked a treat". I thought I had heard just about everything, but that is really a new one. Does anyone have an idea of its origin and how widely it is used today.
: : : : I have never heard it in the States, but I may start to change that right now.
: : : A treat = terrifically, according to ?British English from A to Zed? by Norman Schur (FirstHarperPerennial edition, 1991). The only place I've heard it is BBC America.
: : I heard it once during an exchange in a diner on Lombard Street in 1967 between two ladies discussing the merits of waterproof mascara: perhaps this was the first instance of use in the continental US.
: It's quite a common saying in the UK and, by the quote, in Oz too. I've known it since the 1930s.
It's one of those sayings I'm familiar with as an American who watches a lot of English TV shows and movies. But I'd probably use it in limitied circumstances if at all, here in the States. I believe I first heard it used by Tim the Enchanter as he tried to warn the Knights of the Round Table against taking the Killer Rabbit too lightly: "He'll do you up a treat, mate!"