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Kidding on the square

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 09, 2009 at 03:47

In Reply to: Kidding on the square posted by John on November 08, 2009 at 11:11:

: "Kidding on the square"? I know what it is supposed to mean. I worked that out from the context. But does anyone know where it comes from? So far as I can find, only the writer, Mr. Turtledove uses it. I know, that would make it *un*common, but this bugs me enough to ask on the off-chance someone has a clue. Thanks.

"Kidding on the square" has been around for quite a while. Obviously someone was the first to use it. I don't know Mr.Turtledove, but I suspect that some American media personality was first to use it, and not recently. One meaning of square is honest, genuine, possibly because a geometric square does not admit of deviation, curves, or fudging. "On the square" means "really, truthfully." Kidding means, of course, joking, often in a teasing manner (as in "ribbing"). So kidding on the square means teasing or making a joke that deliberately fails to conceal the truth.