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Across the board

Across the board means applies to all categories, members or classes without exception. Across the board is an American idiom that dates from the beginning of the twentieth century. Originally, across the board referred to placing a horse racing bet on a horse to win, place, or show, or take first, second, or third place. Bookmakers wrote the odds of a horse coming in first, second, or third place on a blackboard, so making a bet across the board meant placing a bet on all three options. The phrase took on a metaphorical meaning and entered mainstream English some time in the middle of the twentieth century.


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Examples

The Minister said the government is serious for across the board accountability, but the opponents are afraid of it. (The Nation)

Today in the SPFL there was drama across the board with a total of 15 goals in the five games that helped towards deciding the fate of many lower league sides in our game. (The Daily Record)

A new debt deal for Greece also looked to have headed off the risk of another round of uncertainty over its finances and even its future in the euro zone after a funding crisis a year ago, pushing European stock markets higher across the board. (The Globe and Mail)

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah observed on Thursday that accountability should be held across the board, saying selective accountability was not acceptable. (Pakistan Today)

“Some of the increase [in April] was due to higher gasoline prices, but spending growth was solid across the board.” (U.S. News & World Report)

During the 2013 budget sequestration process requiring across the board budget cuts, Congress diverted over $1 billion from the TSA budget into other areas, exacerbating the performance issues of the TSA. (Philadelphia Business Journal)

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