Not by a long chalk.

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Not by a long chalk.

Post by Tony Farg » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:42 am

Listening to the news this morning about the continuing downturn in the housing market, the numbers of people being thrown out of work as a consequence, and the impact that that, in turn, may have on repossessions, I turned to my wife and said "its not over yet, not by a long chalk".
Where on earth does that come from?
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Re: Not by a long chalk.

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:35 am

Under 'Not by a long chalk', Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable says:

Not by any means; in no way. The allusion is probably to the chalk marks made on a floor to record the score of a player or team. A 'long chalk' would mean a high score.

However, I'm not convinced by this explanation.
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Re: Not by a long chalk.

Post by hsargent » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:49 pm

My guess is a misunderstanding of the expression "not by a long shot!"

That one I have heard.
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Re: Not by a long chalk.

Post by JANE DOErell » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:44 pm

Quinion discusses it herehttp://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-not2.htm

I had never hear the expression but the scoring of games immediately came to mind when I read the topic line.
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Re: Not by a long chalk.

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:22 pm

I am at work, and was just counting using "five-bar-gates", you know, four uprights and a diagonal, and it struck me that the diagonal could be considered a long chalk.
Please don't tell my boss that I'm skiving!
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

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