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A Stone's Throw

Posted by R. Berg on June 22, 2001

In Reply to: A Stone's Throw posted by ESC on June 22, 2001

: : Can anyone PLEASE help me find the origins of the phrase 'A stones throw' or 'A stone's throw away'.
: : I'd really appreciate it if someone could enlighten me
: : Thanks, Jean

: It means a short distance -- the distance an average person can throw a stone. "He lives a stone's throw from our house." I'll have to do some research regarding how old it is or the first use.

The Oxford Eng. Dict.'s earliest example is from 1712: "She stank so, that nobody durst come within a stone's throw of her" (Arbuthnot, "John Bull"). There are earlier uses involving other objects, the first one being "The enimyes were come, within the throwe of a Dart" .