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Dead giveaway

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 28, 2007

In Reply to: Dead giveaway posted by G Thomas on November 28, 2007

: I am trying to find the origin of the phrase "a dead giveaway" Anyone know?

"Giveaway" in the sense "inadvertent betrayal or revelation; something that gives [the game] away" is US slang dating from 1882. "Dead" has here the sense "absolute, sure", which was used in many phrases coined around that time - e.g. dead ringer, dead centre, dead earnest, dead certainty. (VSD)