Five by Five

Posted by ESC on May 04, 2000

In Reply to: Five by Five posted by daniel hutchison on May 03, 2000

: I see that this is listed as a phrase, but had no definition or origin. As used by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" it means 'all is okay' after/during a rough situation.

: Does anyone know the origin of this phrase, and original meaning? I believe it was also used in the "Aliens" movie.

Type in "five" under the Phrase Finder archives to access a discussion of "five by five." It says, in part:

FIVE BY FIVE -- Five-by-five can mean an obese person. But the meaning that's been discussed here at Phrase Finder is from radio communications. Five by five, or "five by," means "I'm hearing you loud and clear." It can also mean, OK or everything's perfect. These definitions are from Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G, by J.E. Lightner. I've also heard the term used for describing the bed of a pickup truck that's five by five.