meaning and origin of ‘to a T’

‘with minute exactness’—UK, 1693—probably a shortening of synonymous ‘to a tittle’ (1607), ‘tittle’ meaning ‘a small mark used in writing or printing’

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origin of ‘point-blank’

1571—probably from obsolete French ‘de pointe en blanc’, used of firing into empty space for the purpose of seeing how far a piece of artillery would carry

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between the devil and the deep blue sea

early 17th century, with ‘the Dead Sea’ and ‘the deep sea’—originated in the image of a choice between damnation (‘the Devil’) and drowning (‘the sea’)

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