Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 22:26:58 -0500 From: Fred Shapiro Subject: Re: "level the playing field" On Tue, 13 Jan 1998, Gerald Cohen wrote: > I recently received a query about the expression "to level the playing > field." In what way is a playing field leveled? What is the origin of this > unusual expression? Is it older than the past decade or so? > > Can any ADS members help out on this? I'm not currently an ADS member, but I can tell you that the earliest citation yielded by Nexis is from American Banker, 8 Jan. 1979: "Mr. Brawner said the Oregon BA welcomed 'any and all competition, on a level playing field,' a metaphor the association has used frequently in arguments for 'competitive equality.'" All the earliest occurrences on Nexis are from similar banking contexts. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fred R. Shapiro Coeditor (with Jane Garry) Associate Librarian for Public Services TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD and Lecturer in Legal Research ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES Yale Law School Oxford University Press, 1998 e-mail: fred.shapiro[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ISBN 0-19-509547-2 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------