To a T

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Done to a T
Done to a turn

Meaning

To a T means perfectly or just right. Often applied to cooking as in the expression "done to a T," meaning cooked perfectly, to the proper degree of doneness. The variant "done to a turn" has the same meaning.

Usage

"Vic's new job suits him to a T."

"I don't go in for pinstripes but the suit really fits you to a T."

"You really know how to cook a steak! They are always done to a T."

"The restaurant features professionally dry-aged steaks, done to a turn."

Origin

To a T is quite an old idiom, dating from the late 1600's. We can only speculate on its origins. One speculation is that the expression relates to a carpenters T-square, used to draw accurate horizontal lines. Another is that it has to do with crossing one's T's.

To a turn is a later variant, first seen in print in 1780. It alludes to meat being cooked on a spit, where it slowly turned until cooked throughout to a proper temperature. (Source)

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