Posted by SR on October 14, 2004
In Reply to: Dead heat posted by James Briggs on October 14, 2004
: : What is the origin of the phrase "the race is a dead heat", meaning "a tie"? What's the origin of "a tie" for that matter?
: 'Heat' is a term for one of a series of races. Heat 1, heat 2....etc up semi final and final. Thus a 'dead' heat is one that is drawn, tied up into equal parts or equally shared, in the same sense of 'dead' that you get in other expressions, eg 'he's a dead ringer' for. I'm sure an on-line dictionary will give you the precise derevation of 'dead' in this sense - nothing to do with death! Equally, you'll find the exact derevation of 'heat' in the racing sense.
: Try http://www.yourdictionary.com/cgi-bin/mw.cgi
I remember an old James Coburn movie, but what the title had to do with the plot escapes me.
Plot Summary for Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round
Involved crime drama about an intricate plan to rob an airport bank. Watch for the surprise ending and look quickly for a barely-recognizable Harrison Ford in his film debut, playing a bellhop. Summary written by Brett England