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Double cross

Posted by ESC on December 26, 2008 at 23:39

In Reply to: Double cross posted by Johnathan Lane on December 26, 2008 at 22:30:

: What is the origin of 'double cross'? Does it have anything to do with voting?

Here is one theory:

DOUBLE CROSS - "Double cross came into use only in about 1870, apparently as an English racing term describing the common practice of winning a race after promising to arrange a 'cross,' to lose it. 'Cross,' for 'a prearranged swindle or fix,' dates back to the early 19th century and was used by Thackeray in 'Vanity Fair' to describe a fixed horse race. The adjective 'double' here is meant in its sense of 'duplicity,' so 'double cross' really means 'dishonesty about dishonesty'; in fact, the earlier expression 'to put on the double double' meant the same as 'double cross.'" From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).
See also, the meaning and origin of 'double cross'.