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August 10, 2007


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Any relationship to "skins game" - the golf match were competitors win "skins" by having the lowest unique score on a particular hole? If two or more players tie, there is no winner for that hole. Of course, there are many variations, including the one used on the televised version, where the prize money for a particular hole "carries over" each time there is no skin so that a skin won after, say, 5 tied holes gets the accumulated prize money.

Charles: I couldn't find anything authoritative to confirm that "skin in the game" is related to "skins game." William Safire wrote about the two expressions in his NY Times "On Language" column last year: http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F40C12FE3E550C748DDDA00894DE404482
...but he is not generally considered the last word on idioms. Perhaps one of the linguists who read this blog would care to weigh in?

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