The word handicap was coined by contracting a three-word
phrase. What letter was removed?
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.
The critically-acclaimed board game
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
The phrase Hand in capdenoted a game in which two bettors engaged a neutral umpire to determine the odds in an unequal contest. The bettors would put their hands holding forfeit money into a hat or cap. The umpire would announce the odds and the bettors would withdraw their hands: hands full meaning they accepted the odds …, hands empty meaning they did not accept the bet and were willing to forfeit the money. If one forfeited, then the money went to the other. The reference to horse racing is 1754 (Handy-Cap Match), where the umpire decrees the superior horse should carry extra weight as a "handicap;" this led to sense of "encumbrance, disability" first recorded 1890."
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