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I just read about a guy that was beaten to the punch several times. I couldn't find a meaning of that using my dictionary or Google, so what does that mean?

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closed as general reference by Jasper Loy, J.R., FumbleFingers, Mitch, kiamlaluno Jun 13 '12 at 6:48

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

@JasperLoy to be fair Google customizes searches, so maybe Roflcoptr searches for egg recipes and fruit drinks a lot. – NominSim Jun 12 '12 at 20:17
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Free Dictionary says:

beat someone to the punch and beat someone to the draw: to do something before someone else does it.

I'd better post before someone beats me to the punch.

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Do you know if it comes from boxing? From duelling? Just curious. – JAM Jun 12 '12 at 21:03
Etymology online (at etymonline.com/index.php?term=punch) says "To beat (someone) to the punch is from 1923, a metaphor from boxing." – rajah9 Jun 12 '12 at 21:22

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