The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0937 Monday, 1 May 2000.
Date: Friday, 28 Apr 2000 15:36:51 -0400
Subject: 11.0915 Re: Towing / Toeing
Comment: Re: SHK 11.0915 Re: Towing / Toeing
Stuart Manger asks
>Larry: I wonder if you are mixing the idiom in question with the more
>familiar 'coming up to scratch', which means exactly what you aver here
>about bare-knuckle fighting?
I agree that "coming up to scratch" has the same derivation I
postulated, but it is possible that they are synonymous idioms. It is
also possible that the derivation I alluded to (which I do not advance
as my own) is someone's after the fact explanation for "toeing the
line." Where is William Safire when we need him?