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Interestingly, even the latest on-line OED does not accept this word without a hyphen. Is it common as a single word in US English? The nautical derivation for above-board seems unlikely, since there is widespread use from the early 1600s for card-sharp & juggler etymology.
Dbfirs 19:39, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Hard to assert that it is US (or North America) only, with these showing up all over the place. Here in the US, I'd call this compound word "fairly" common. If I've ever seen it hyphenated, I didn't notice it. --Connel MacKenzie 21:23, 24 December 2007 (UTC)