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Sounding board

Posted by ESC on July 01, 2004

In Reply to: Sounding board posted by Lotg on July 01, 2004

: I was emailing my big Yankee friend today, and among other things informed him that he was my 'sounding board'.

: Now we all know what that means but how did it originate? Why would a board sound? Am I taking this too literally? Does it mean a board of the wooden variety or the corporate variety or something completely different?
Merriam-Webster online:

Main Entry: sounding board
Function: noun
1 a : a structure behind or over a pulpit, rostrum, or platform to give distinctness and sonority to sound b : a device or agency that helps propagate opinions or utterances c : a person or group on whom one tries out an idea or opinion as a means of evaluating it.