tit for tat


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tit for tat

Repayment in kind, retaliation, as in If he won't help with the beach clean-up, I won't run a booth at the bake sale; that's tit for tat . This term is believed to be a corruption of tip for tap, which meant "a blow for a blow." Its current form dates from the mid-1500s.
See also: tat, tit
References in periodicals archive ?
Game theorists know that sometimes tit for tat does OK, sometimes not; it all depends upon the specifics of the situation.
We have a continually marginalized sector of young people, not seeing themselves as fitting into the mainstream of society, who are continuing this historical tit for tat of revenge and loyalty.
I certainly hope that they would end that kind of behavior and approach the bargaining table with the same sense of positive, constructive spirit that we'll bring,'' Ward said of the two years of legal tit for tat.
When asked of Gazza's behaviour earlier Knox had sighed: "It was tit for tat with the keeper.
Shall we let fairness prevail, tit for tat, or shall the almighty dollar again rule?
The perspective remains detached enough that one is forced to wonder why this game of lethal tit for tat had to escalate to such crazy extremes.
policy than simply risking American lives in an endless game of military tit for tat with Saddam.