Example phrases:

  • "...on the regular"
  • "...on the daily"
  • "...on the down low"
  • "...on the DL"

I'm curious whether these have a common origin. (Maybe there are more examples I can't think of right now too.) Thanks!

1 Answer 1


On (prep.)

Used as a function word to indicate manner of doing something —often used with the

on the sly
keep everything on the up-and-up m-w

11 a. In (a certain way);
Also forming adverbial phrases of manneron the cheap, on the sly (OED)

Other examples that come to mind: on the fly, on the double, on the rebound, on the q.t. Of course each phrase has its own etymology, but I think this explains the function of on. The OED's citations for the "in a certain way" meaning go back to the origins of English.

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