- across the board,
Origin of across-the-board
- Theater.the stage: The play will go on the boards next week.
- the wooden fence surrounding the playing area of an ice-hockey rink.
- a racing course made of wood, used especially in track meets held indoors: his first time running on boards.
- the side of a ship.
- one leg, or tack, of the course of a ship beating to windward.
- the area of a woolshed where shearing is done.
- a crew of shearers working in a particular woolshed.
- sheep about to be sheared.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of board
- a smaller flat piece of rigid material for a specific purposeironing board
- (in combination)breadboard; cheeseboard
- (sometimes functioning as plural)a group of people who officially administer a company, trust, etca board of directors
- (as modifier)a board meeting
- a list on which stock-exchange securities and their prices are posted
- informalthe stock exchange itself
- the side of a ship
- the leg that a sailing vessel makes on a beat to windward
- any of various portable surfaces specially designed for indoor games such as chess, backgammon, etc
- (as modifier)board games
- a set of hands in duplicate bridge
- a wooden or metal board containing four slots, or often nowadays, a plastic wallet, in which the four hands are placed so that the deal may be replayed with identical hands
- (in gambling) to win all the cards or money
- to win every event or prize in a contest
Word Origin for board
Old English bord "a plank, flat surface," from Proto-Germanic *burdam (cf. Old Norse borð "plank," Dutch bord "board," Gothic fotu-baurd "foot-stool," German Brett "plank"), from PIE *bhrdh- "board," from root *bherdh- "to cut." See also board (n.2), with which this is so confused as practically to form one word (if indeed they were not the same word all along).
A board is thinner than a plank, and generally less than 2.5 inches thick. The transferred meaning "food" (late 14c.) is an extension of the late Old English sense of "table" (cf. boarder, boarding); hence, also, above board "honest, open" (1610s). A further extension is to "table where council is held" (1570s), then transferred to "leadership council, council (that meets at a table)," 1610s.
"side of ship," Old English bord "border, rim, ship's side," from Proto-Germanic *bordaz (cf. Old Saxon bord, Dutch boord, German Bord, Old High German bart, Old Norse barð), perhaps from the same source as board (n.1), but not all sources accept this. Connected to border; see also starboard.
If not etymologically related to board (n.1), the two forms represented in English by these words were nonetheless confused at an early date in most Germanic languages, a situation made worse in English because this Germanic root also was adopted as Medieval Latin bordus (source of Italian and Spanish bordo). It also entered Old French as bort "beam, board, plank; side of a ship" (12c., Modern French bord), either from Medieval Latin or Frankish, and from thence it came over with the Normans to mingle with its native cousins. By now the senses are inextricably tangled. Some etymology dictionaries treat them as having been the same word all along.
verb senses derived from various senses of board (n.1) and board (n.2) include "come alongside" (a ship), mid-15c. (from n.2); "put boards on, frame with boards," late 14c. (implied in boarded, from n.1); " to get onto" (a ship), 1590s, transferred from mid-19c. to stages, railway cars, aircraft, etc. (from n.2). Meaning "to be supplied with food and lodging" is from 1550s (from n.1 in transferred sense). Transitive meaning "provide with daily meals and lodging" is from 1590s. Related: Boarded; boarding.
across the board
Applying to all the individuals in a group, as in They promised us an across-the-board tax cut, that is, one applying to all taxpayers, regardless of income. This expression comes from horse racing, where it refers to a bet that covers all possible ways of winning money on a race: win (first), place (second), or show (third). The board here is the notice-board on which the races and betting odds are listed. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1900s.
see across the board; back to the drawing board; bed and board; bulletin board; by the board; go overboard; on board; open and aboveboard; room and board; stiff as a board; tread the boards.