Hedge your bets

Amateur Gardening - - Tried & Tested -

Hedg­ing one’s bets is de­fined as be­ing ‘to avoid com­mit­ting one­self’, co­in­ci­den­tally the same as ‘sit­ting on the fence’!

The verb ‘to hedge’, which has been used in English since the 16th cen­tury, de­rives from the noun ‘hedge’. The first hedges were of spiny, im­pen­e­tra­ble hawthorn. To ‘hedge’ a piece of land was to se­cure it and limit it in terms of size, and this gave rise to the mean­ing of ‘se­cure, lim­ited risk’. Hedge funds take their name from lim­it­ing, or ‘hedg­ing’ a risk.

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