Above board

Above board

Meaning

  • Honest and straight.

Origin

If a business deal is above board it is honest and would bear the scrutiny of all concerned. The phrase is said to refer to the dishonest practices of gamesters who would drop their hands below the board, or table, to exchange unfavorable cards. Games played with hands above board removed at least that weapon from the cheater's armory. 

Example Sentences

Nowadays, when young women go about in kilts and are as bare-backed as wild horses, there's no excitement. The cards are all on the table, nothing's left to fancy. All's above board and consequently boring. - ALDO US H UXLEY, Those Barren Leaves, 1925.

I shall keep inside the gates, so no one can say I've driven on the public roads without a license. Everything above board, that's my motto. - JOHN W AIN, Hurry On Down, 1953.

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