Forum Archive : Terminology

"In the box"

From:   Ken Bame
Address:   kbame@strongtie.com
Date:   22 September 2012
Subject:   Word meaning - "in the box"
Forum:   rec.games.backgammon

Where did the term "in the box" in a chouette come from?

Daniel Murphy  writes:

I don't know, but consider this from

    Phrase:  "In the box-seat"

    Meaning:  In a superior or advantageous position.

    Origin:  The box-seat was literally a box which was used as a seat for
    the driver on coaches. These were set at quite a height in order for
    the coachman to be able to see beyond the one or two pairs of horses
    that drew the coach. It isn't difficult to imagine how 'in the box-
    seat' took on its figurative 'advantageous' meaning. This English
    phrase has the same meaning as the American 'in the catbird seat' and,
    although the US version was coined later, there's no reason to suspect
    that it was derived from the earlier phrase.

    The use of 'in the box-seat' to describe someone in a favourable
    situation began in the mid 19th century.

This meaning for "in the box" seems more likely to me than, as the bkgm.com
glossary has it under the "box" entry, a "difficult, trying position."
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