What is the meaning and origin of the expression "to give someone an evenbreak"?

When you give someone an evenbreak you are giving the person the same opportunities as others to do something. In other words, you are giving a fair chance to the individual; you are being impartial.

Here are a few examples.

Sarika has tonnes of talent. All she needs is someone to give her an evenbreak and she could be at the top.

If you don't have a Godfather, then no one will be willing to give you the evenbreak you need to prove how good you are.

Paul gave the even break Sneha was desperately looking for. She will always be grateful to him.

There are several explanations as to the origin of this expression. I will deal with only one here. According to some scholars, the expression comes from the sport of dog racing. In the old days it was common practice for people to take bets on whose dog was faster and which one was better skilled at "hare coursing". In order to determine this, the owners held the animals tightly by the leash and released them at the same time. This letting go of the leash at the same moment - so that neither dog was at an advantage - was referred to as an "even break." In case you are wondering what "hare coursing" is, well, a poor hare was let loose and the dogs were made to chase and kill the frightened animal. A cruel sport, indeed! By giving the dogs an even break, the faster and more skilled animal was likely to catch the hare. Later, the expression "to give someone an even break" began to be used with horse racing as well. Here it refers to the clean start to a race; where all the horses start off at the same time.

COURTESY : The Hindu (The National News-Paper) - India

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