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That will do the trick

Posted by ESC on June 08, 2010 at 14:38

In Reply to: That will do the trick posted by Alex on June 07, 2010 at 21:39:

: Where did the phrase "That will do the trick" come from? It's affirmative statement after the completion of job. "There, that will do the trick." he said proudly after fixing his truck.

: I have a suspicion that it is in some part correlated with the term "trick" that a prostitute used to refer to her clients. To "do the trick" would indeed be getting the job done.

"do the trick -- Dating from the early nineteenth century, this cliche uses 'trick' in the sense of an acomplishment." "Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches," second edition, edited by Christine Ammer, Checkmark Books, New York, 2006. Page 109.

There are several meanings in another reference. There is trick meaning a period of work, but that only dates back to the 1930s. Trick meaning robbery or theft, turn a trick, dates back to the mid-19C. Trick meaning have sex for cash or for the client dates to the 1910s. "Cassell's Dictionary of Slang" by Jonathon Green (Wellington House, London, 1998). Page 1226.