Fill the bill
Posted by Lexi on August 03, 2004
In Reply to: Fill the bill posted by Henry on August 03, 2004
: : I hear people say, "I'll foot the bill" as in "pay for it".
: : Today I heard someone say, "The Pres. Bush bobble head doll fits the bill".
: : Is "fits the bill" the correct phrase here?
: As you say, to foot the bill is to meet the cost of something.
: To fit the bill means to be be suitable. A bill would be a legal document rather than an invoice. An alternative is to fill the bill.
: So the phrase seems to fill the bill here.
Filling the bill relates to fulfilling requirements and is of legal origin relating to a 'bill of particulars'. The bill in question here is a set of requirements to proceed. This terminology has moved into common usage as anything that is suitable to accomplish the task intended.