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    #1

    your opposite number

    May I dig into the detailed reason why 'your opposite number' is the person who does the same job as you in another organization?

    Why the number has do with a job?

    Thank you.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: your opposite number

    I first encountered the expression in the services. It may be, if the expression originated in the services, that the reference was originally to the the person's service number.

    I have heard (British) policemen saying such things as, "Let's call in 346; he lives in that area," rather than, "Let's call in PC Bloggs", which might support my idea.

    But it's only an idea while we are waiting for a response from someone who knows.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: your opposite number

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    May I dig into the detailed reason why 'your opposite number' is the person who does the same job as you in another organization?

    Why the number has do with a job?

    Thank you.
    It's possibly derived from team sports. If you're a centre forward, your 'opposite number' is the centre forward on the opposing team. Such team members always have numbers, which you can identify even if you forget who you're actually playing against at the moment.

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