Where Did the Phrase “Shoo-In” For a Sure Winner Originate and What Does the Expression Mean?

The confusion around a shoo-in is in the spelling, which is often written “shoe-in.”

The shoe isn’t footwear. Instead, it’s spelled as in shooing something to make it move quickly.

The term “shoo-in” comes from dishonest horse racing.

After conspiring to bet on a probable loser, the jockeys hold back their mounts and urge or “shoo in” a chosen horse through the pack, where it will cross the finish line first and pay off at great odds.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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