The idiom "to double to on sth" in the sense of "continuing to do something in an even more determined way than before" is mentioned in the Cambridge Dictionary. However, personally, I've heard this exclusively in American English. Thus my question: is this phrase also commonly used in British English or rather just in American English? And if the latter is true, what would be a British equivalent?

  • I do hear it occasionally in England, but I think phrases like "get stuck into sth" are more common.
    – Tim Foster
    Mar 12, 2019 at 10:41
  • I've never heard "to double to" (in the US). "Double down" is a gambling term and it means to be even more determined/bet more.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 12, 2019 at 11:54
  • @HotLicks: That's one usage. The other one is also mentioned in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/double%20down: "to become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking"
    – royskatt
    Mar 12, 2019 at 12:02
  • 2
    @royskatt - Yes, but that meaning derives from the concept of doubling your bet.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 12, 2019 at 12:06
  • My dictionary says that "double down" comes from Blackjack (the player doubles his bet on seeing his initial cards). So I am guessing the other uses evolved from this one.
    – GEdgar
    Apr 20, 2019 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


There are no relevant instances of double down in the British National Corpus and 491 instances in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, so it seem likely that this phrase is not commonly used in British English.

  • It may be one of those expressions that's slowly creeping into British English; I think many Brits would understand it, at least vaguely, though it still sounds American. (I didn't know its origin, though — I assumed that it was probably from baseball or basketball…)
    – gidds
    Apr 13 at 8:55
  • From poker or gambling more generally. The BNC is quite old by now, so the situation could certainly have changed. Apr 14 at 10:41

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