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"Fair and Square"

Posted by Barry on February 11, 2000

In Reply to: "Fair and Square" posted by Bob on February 11, 2000

: : : Fair and (even or balanced).
: : : OK. I understand what fair means. But square?
: : : Why does square mean balanced (ie: square meal)
: : : Is it because there are four basic food groups-- hence, four corners of a square. What if there were only three basic food groups -would it be "Fair and Triangle"
: : : P.S. Is this the same square as the 1950's cliche for nerd?

: : Anything to do with a Masonic Connection perhaps? e.g. 'On the Square' 'On the Level etc..

: : Ade

: I suspect that it relates to "we're all square" after paying a debt, i.e., that nobody owes anybody anything. The deal is closed, it's fair to both sides, with no remaining obligations. Why "square?" Perhaps it relates to a carpenter's idea of perfection: "true, plumb, and square."

I think in originates from the same source as a 'Square Meal': this expression grew out of the British Naval custom of serving meals on square wooden plates way back before the good old USA was the good old USA. I'll see if I can find an authoritative reference.