Belt and Suspenders

Volume 3. Issue 8.

What was said? That was so “belt and suspenders” of us anyway…

Did someone really say that? Yes, my friend Rita and I were walking to a restaurant in Nashville with both our Google maps app open on our iPhone and a paper printout of the directions. When we realized we lost the printout along our walk, Rita proclaimed the phrase above.

What does it mean? Someone who wears a belt and suspenders is very cautious and takes no risks. It refers to redundant systems, a form of “double insurance,” where either the belt or the suspenders serve as a backup in the event of the other failing (literally – no one needs to wear both a belt and suspenders to hold up their pants!)

Origin: First found in print in 1935 in the Galveston Daily News, where the ‘News Behind the News’ column states: “A pessimist wears both belt and suspenders.” Today, the phrase “belt and suspenders,” is used mainly in business and law when two strategies are used to minimize the risk that would be exist should only one strategy be in place.


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Filed under Business Sayings, Idiom, Idioms

2 responses to “Belt and Suspenders

  1. Robert Sebastian

    I loved this one, thank you!

  2. Another great one; and this one came from close to my home!

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