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Is it TOE or TOW?

Okay, on here I have seen many posts with the phrase "tow the line." Usually it's in reference to politicans, whether Republican or Democrat.

I always thought it was "toe the line", meaning aforementioned politician is moving closer to the other side. In my head I see a line down the middle between Republicans and Democrats (or whatever "opposing" sides you may have) and one is moving closer to the other side, therefore with their toes, coming closer to seeing the other point of view.

When I see "tow" the line, I think of someone moving a line not working towards a compromise.

Which way is it? Toe or Tow?

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 4:50 PM on Jan. 27, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • The phrase "toe the line" is equivalent to "toe the mark," both of which mean to conform to a rule or a standard. The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002; ed. by Glynnis Chantrell) says, "The idiom toe the line from an athletics analogy originated in the early 19th century" (514).

    The specific sport referred to is foot-racing, where the competitors must keep their feet behind a "line" or on a "mark" at the start of the race--as in "On your mark, get set,
    go!"

    So one who "toes the line" is one who does not allow his foot to stray over the line. In other words, one who does not stray beyond a rigidly defined boundary.
    miriamz

    Answer by miriamz at 4:56 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • Well,we all know that toe is on the foot, and tow is too carry or pull
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:52 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • It is TOE the line. It's a commonly mis-spelled word in an idiom that most folks don't understand. You're right....it is TOE the line.
    StarLee

    Answer by StarLee at 4:53 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • I always thought it was Toe, I don't know now....hmmmm
    SheriSanchez

    Answer by SheriSanchez at 4:53 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • Folks, I have a Master's degree in English, and I can guarantee that it's TOE the line. I'd bet the farm on it. Check the OED, or even check Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toe_the_line

    StarLee

    Answer by StarLee at 4:55 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • well, in the military at night when we did a count on the people in the barracks it was Toe the line...went went and aligned our feet on the line.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:55 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • I wasn't exactly sure, so I looked it up


    http://grammartips.homestead.com/toetheline.html 


     


     

    Kat122

    Answer by Kat122 at 4:56 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • yeah it's tow.....you tow a car, and you stub your toe.
    ColleenF30

    Answer by ColleenF30 at 5:09 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • it is toe the line, as to put your toes to the line, at least that is what the army says when they want to make sure you are in the barracks and accounted for.
    mrssundin

    Answer by mrssundin at 5:20 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • OP here : I appreciate everyone who gave sincere, HELPFUL responses to this question.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:29 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

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