fast and loose


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fast and loose

Not straightforward or honest. “Fast and Loose” was the medieval equivalent of the kind of con game now found in such scams as Three Card Monte. It involved two intricately arranged cloth straps. The victim was invited to choose one loop to place a stick through, and when the loop was pulled tight, the stick would be held fast and the victim would win a wager. However, the con artist had arranged both loops in such a way that either loop came free from the stick, no matter which one the victim selected, and the victim forfeited his bet. (Variations of the game under different names continue to this day.) That's how the phrase “to play fast and loose,” meaning dishonest, came to be used by people who never played the “game.”
See also: and, fast, loose
References in periodicals archive ?
Multi-talented: Hugh Dennis (front centre) with the rest of the Fast And Loose improvisation team.
So, yeah, the script is iffy and the chintzy-looking production plays fast and loose with period details--why is scarily pale Everett dressed for a swank party at Noel Coward's?
The Caledonia bishop acknowledged that he wrestled with the issue of jurisdiction, he said, but believes that it is Anglicans with more liberal views of homosexuality who are "playing fast and loose with the canons of the church.
Playing fast and loose with the reputations of seminaries is hardly helpful to readers or to the Christian community in general.
In THE 1980S, DURING THE Reagan-Bush I reign, a wave of conservative jurists rode to prominence on a searing critique of their predecessors: the judicial system--especially during the Earl Warren years--had become a playground for liberal, activist judges who played fast and loose with the text of the Constitution.
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