I'd like to know both the exact meaning and the origin of the expression "to a tee". From the context, I reckon it means that something is done with a great accuracy, but I'm not so sure. Thanks!
Yes, it means 'perfectly' or 'exactly'.

I think this will 'suit you to a tee'.

We know 'to a tee' that he does not earn enough to support his family.
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" to a T / to a tee (informal) used to say that sth is exactly right for sb, succeeds in doing sth in exactly the right way, etc.:

Her new job suits her to a T.

The novel captures the feeling of the pre-war period to a T.

(Oxford Advanced Learner's Compass)

As for the origin, just a guess: is it related to writing the upper part of the letter "t" (meaning completion of something)?


I searched around and found various discussions on the 'net,

eg this from http://answers.yahoo.com/rss/question?qid=20061017055732AAyn3t5

What is the origin of "suits to a T"? "suits to a tee"? (Etymology) TO A T - "We use this expression very commonly in the sense of minute exactness, perfection; as, the coat fits to a T; the meat was done to a T. It is easy to dismiss the origin of the expression as, I am sorry to say, some of our leading dictionaries do, by attributing it to the draftsman's T-square, which is supposed to be an exact instrument, but the evidence indicates that the expression was in common English use before the T-square got its name. 'To a T' dates back to the seventeenth century in literary use and was undoubtedly common in everyday speech long before any writer dared to or thought to use it in print. But it is likely that the name of the instrument, 'T-square,' would have been in print shortly after its invention, yet the first mention is in the eighteenth century. The sense of the expression corresponds, however, with the older one, 'to a tittle,' which appeared almost a century earlier, and meant 'to a dot,' as in 'jot or tittle.' Beaumont used it in 1607, and it is probably that colloquial use long preceded his employment of the phrase..." From "2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions from White Elephants to a Song and Dance" by Charles Earle Funk (Galahad Books, New York, 1993). (extract from the "Phrase Finder" site)

Best wishes, Clive
Nice explanation, thank you!
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Thanks to everybody! I see that I had more or less grasped the meaning of the expression. Clive, thanks a lot for that interesting paragraph on its origin!
The expression "dot the i's and cross the t's" also fits with your explanation, Benita.
Research "tittle."
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This is not even close to the same explanation. Do your research! This is what annoys me about the Internet. Any smuck can post things like this without even knowing if it is factual and people take it as fact.
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