stand pat was our Word of the Day on 07/12/2010. Hear the podcast!
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If you stand pat in draw poker you're betting on the cards in your hand being better than any you're likely to draw. It didn't take long for stand pat to move from the poker table, where it first appeared in the late 1800s, to the realm of politics; by the early 20th century, to stand pat was to oppose any change in U.S. tariff policy. The term continues to be used mainly in U.S. English, where it's applied to everything from a coach's decision not to change out players during a game to a homeowner's decision not to refinance. The nouns standpatter ("one who resists or opposes change") and standpattism ("resistance to change" or "reluctance to take positive action") are also used, although generally only in political contexts.
Origin and Etymology of stand pat
First Known Use: 1882
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