Square Deal, a

Also:

Fair deal
Fair shake

Meaning of Idiom ‘A Square Deal’

square deal is an equitable bargain or one in which both parties are certain to benefit equally. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.

2010.

Examples Of Use

All the variations date from the same period and can be used interchangeably. However, fair shake is often proceeded by give a ~, as in “we will give every bidder a fair shake on this job proposal.”

“The strike will end when the workers are assured of a square deal with management.”

“As long as its a fair deal I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t take it.”

Origin

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, all variants of this idiom have been in use since the early 1800’s. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

The use of ‘square’ to mean fair probably alludes to a square structure being firm and solid 4Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: Bloomsbury, 2009., or perhaps to its sides being equal.

A fair shake may allude to the shaking of dice.

Fair Deal was also the name of a set of proposals put forward by President Harry S. Truman in 1949. 5Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

More Idioms Starting with S

More Deal Idioms

More Fair Idioms

More Shake Idioms

More Square Idioms

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Sources   [ + ]

1, 3, 5. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
4. Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.