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A shady deal

Posted by Peter on April 10, 2009 at 09:27

Phrase origin for "a shady deal"? I heard it that the phrase originates from the land rush days of the American Frontier. Clearing land for farming was extremely arduous, and therefore cleared land was sold at a premium. "a shady deal" was one where the plot sold was supposed to have been cleared, but was not. Hmm. Could be, but sounds fishy to me. Any ideas?