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What Is The Origin Of The Phrase "Dead Ringer"?

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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Sorry to say, but that seems to miss the meaning of the phrase entirely, which is: To appear exactly alike something else, typically another person or living being: He is a dead ringer for the prince, one might say, ringer meaning identical and dead meaning exactly.

The phrase is of American origin, from sca. . .er, frauds once perpetrated in horse trading. A ringer was, and sometimes still is, a word used to describe a fake, or duplication (sort of like a hustle) intended to make a false impression for an illicit purpose. From that, the phrase has become generalized to the broader meaning above. See more below:

www.phrases.org.uk
Evelyn Vaz Profile
Evelyn Vaz answered
Phrases are often used by people, but very rarely do they know the exact meaning of the phrase. The phrase "dead ringer" factually means 'exact duplicate'. This phrase originated at the end of the 19th century, in a US horse-racing organization. The word ringer is defined in a print of the Manitoba Free Press from October 1882 in the following words: "A horse that is taken through the country and trotted under a false name and pedigree is called a 'ringer.' " The word DEAD in this phrase has a very strong meaning; it refers to exact or precise. The initial reference that confirms the meaning of this phrase is, from the Oshkosh Weekly Times, June 1888, which reported an article about a court report, where a man was charged as being "very drunk".
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Urban legend would have it that people were buried very quickly in times of plagues, some were not checked to see if they were really dead, so they tied a string to a bell on the surface of the grave. People who listened for the bells were said to be on the graveyard shift. If the bell rang, then the "dead ringer" would be dug up. People seeing the person who was thought dead would say "that man must be a dead ringer" for so-and-so. Another version of the origin is when a famous bell ringer once got sick he had his brother ring the church bells for him. One day the brother of the famous ringer fell to his death. Someone looked at his body and said he was "a dead ringer" for his brother.
Meta Forrest Profile
Meta Forrest answered
It originates from people being killed with an arrow.  Instead of the bull's eye, the person has become the target .

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