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See also: aboveboard and above board


Alternative forms[edit]


above +‎ board. First attested in 1610. Said by Johnson to have been borrowed from gamblers, who, when they change their cards, put their hands under the table.



above-board (not comparable)

  1. In open sight; without trick, concealment, or deception. [First attested in the late 16th century.][1]
    Fair and aboveboard.
    • 2013 May 15, Stephen Lemons, “Joe Arpaio's Fave Pay-triot John Philip Sousa IV Fires Back, Makes Bank Off Peddling Joe”, in Phoenix New Times[1], archived from the original on 11 March 2019:
      Nothing illegal about any of this to my knowledge. Indeed, this is the very above-board racket of running an independent political committee. Everyone does it. Left, right, center and none of the above. And anyway, why shouldn't a true pay-triot get paid?
    • 2018 March 26, Maya Kosoff, “Zuckerberg hits users with the hard truth: You agreed to this”, in Vanity Fair[2]:
      Over the weekend, Android owners were displeased to discover that Facebook had been scraping their text-message and phone-call metadata, in some cases for years, an operation hidden in the fine print of a user agreement clause until Ars Technica reported. Facebook was quick to defend the practice as entirely aboveboard—small comfort to those who are beginning to realize that, because Facebook is a free service, they and their data are by necessity the products.



above-board (not comparable)

  1. Honestly; openly. [First attested in the late 16th century.][1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], →ISBN), page 7