A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I haven’t seen faith move mountains, but I have seen what faith can do to buildings” (8/22)
“What did the Jedi order at the Italian restaurant?"/"Only one cannoli.” (8/22)
“If self driving cars become a huge industry, ice cream trucks will be mobile vending machines” (8/22)
“Paper money is cold hard cash. A credit/debit card is hold card cash” (8/22)
“Vegans think people who sell meat are disgusting, but people who sell fruit and veg are grocer” (8/22)
More new entries...

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Entry from September 18, 2007
“Let’s have a level playing field”

If a playing field is not level, one team plays uphill (harder) and another team plays downhill (easier). The term “level playing field” was used in a figurative sense in banking in the 1970s, describing the differences between savings & loans and commercial banks. The exact origin of the term is unknown, but the term continues to be used extensively by Texans.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
level, adj. and adv.
level playing field n. colloq. (orig. U.S.) a state or condition of parity or impartiality; a situation offering equality of opportunity or in which fairness to all parties is observed.
1979 Amer. Banker 8 Jan. 2 [He] said the Oregon BA welcomed ‘any and all competition, on a *level playing field’.

5 October 1976, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Banking machines ruled illegal” by Cheryl Hall, section B, pg. 6:
William C. Hatfield, executive vice-president of Republic of Texas Corp. of Dallas, told The News that the high court’s decision will place new emphasis on getting legislation passed to put all financial institutions on a more level playing field. And that, he said, would be more beneficial to banks in Texas in the long run.

5 January 1977, New Castle (PA) News, pg. 5, col. 2:
John Bolger, lobbyist for the bankers association, said bankers will challenge the regulations. He claimed savings banks will have an unfair competitive edge if they can offer services similar to checking accounts.

“Our philosophy is that we have no problem competing with the mutual savings banks if they start from the level playing field,” Bolger said.

Inside the Third House:
A Veteran Lobbyist Takes a 50-Year Frolic Through Texas Politics
by H. C. Pittman
Austin, TX: Eakin Press
1992
Pg. 248 (Quotes/Sayings/Slogans):
Barnes, Ben: “Let’s have a level playing field.” (Re: speed train hearings.)

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, September 18, 2007 • Permalink