1. If a competition is neck and neck that means it is very even. In other words, it’s a close game.
2. A comparison of two things and their quality is similar.
The Origin Of ‘Neck and Neck’
The expression “neck and neck” is a term in horse racing. It’s used when two or more horses are running alongside each other towards the finish line. When the horses are evenly matched, running side by side, they are said to be “neck and neck.” So it’s believed that horse racing is where this phrase comes from.
As for how old this saying is, it goes back to at least the early to mid-19th century. For example, the earliest I’ve seen this phrase in print is from the Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser newspaper, 1825:
“The owners rode their respective horses, and the race was said to be the finest ever witnessed on this turf, both horses keeping neck and neck round the course.”
While this phrase might have got its start in horse racing, it is now used for any competition or comparison that is evenly matched (e.g., this basketball game is neck and neck).
- Ericka made a fresh batch of two kinds of cookies: macadamia nut and chocolate chip. In terms of deliciousness, they are both neck and neck. However, if I had to pick a winner, I’d go with the chocolate chip.