safe as houses

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

  • 1874, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary: Etymological, Historical, and Anecdotal:
    an expression to satisfy a doubting person; "Oh! it's as safe as Houses," i.e., perfectly safe, apparently in allusion to the paying character of house property as an investment. It is said the phrase originated when the railway bubbles began to burst, and when people began to turn their attention to the more ancient forms of speculation, which though slow were sure.

Adjective[edit]

safe as houses (not comparable)

  1. (simile) Very secure.
    • 1808, William Milton, "Memorial", Appendix 6A to Third Report from the Committee on the Highways of the Kingdon, House of Commons papers
      In objection to this Coach, it is urged by the Coachmen that it looks heavy; and that they had rather break a leg now and then than drive such an ugly thing; but it regularly makes part of their sarcasm, that "It is as safe as a house"
    • 1859, Kinahan Cornwallis, A panorama of the New World, Volume I, page 79
      The owner of the weapon assured him that he was as safe as houses
    • 1895, E. M. Stooke, Not Exactly, as cited in The English Dialect Dictionary: R-S, Volume 5, Joseph Wright, editor, 1904
      Yes'ir, I'm saved as safe as houses
    • 1951, Jack Common, Kiddar's luck:
      You could see where your money was, if you owned a house; it was safe, safe as houses, the very phrase, and you couldn't say safer than that unless you brought in the Bank of England which was too big altogether for the local men and their well-warmed nest eggs