Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Up (one's) sleeve

(originally posted March 31st, 2006)

Definition: hidden, secretive, concealed

Example: "I was told you are organizing the surprise party for Jim. What do you have up your sleeve?"

Origin: This is actually a short form of "an ace up one's sleeve", which refers to
playing cards, and cheating. As an Ace is the biggest card in most card games (poker, etc.) if you can hide an Ace and can produce it at the right time, you will win! And one of the easiest places to hide an Ace is up in one's sleeve. For that reason, most card magicians now wear short-sleeve shirts, or roll up their sleeves before performing their card tricks.

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