By Matthew Dicks | April 20, 2016 | Comments Off on “Close to the chest” or “cshed to the vest?” The answer annoys the hell out of me.

You are watching: Play your cards close to the vest

I’ve heard this idiom spoken both ways:

“Play your cards close to the vest.”“Play your cards cshed to the chest.”

So I wondered: Which of these is correct?

The answer: Both.

Tright here is no definitive answer to this question. While it appears that “close to the vest” appeared first, “close to the chest” adhered to practically instantly, and now, both are used through equal frequency.


This annoys the hell out of me. I desire tright here to be an answer. I desire among these idioms to be correct, and also frankly, I desire it to be “close to the vest.”

This middling, indecisive etymological uncertainty is stupid.

As a writer, I’m thrilled with a variety of ways to express a solitary concept, but that range must contain some actual variation rather than two words (vest and also chest)that fundamentally intend the very same point in this conmessage and also rhyme.

And it shouldn’t be the result of an incapacity to decide upon a correct means of expressing a specific idiom.

So I’m taking a stand.I say that “close to the vest” is correct and those that say “close to the chest” are heathens and also cretins and also socially unacceptable monsters. Linguistic criminals. Language murderers.

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Disagree via my selection? Uncertain if I’m right? Do a Google image search on “close to the vest” and also “close to the chest” and also check out which collection of imperiods even more closely capture the definition of this idiom and also which set of imperiods make you marginally uncomfortable.

Who is via me?


Posted in Quandry, Words and tagged close to the chest, cshed to the vest, idiom, language