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All Fours

A game of cards; so called from the four points that are at stake, viz. High, Low, Jack, and Game.

To go on all fours
is to crawl about on knees and hands like a little child.

It does not go on all fours
means it does not suit in every minute particular; it does not fully satisfy the demand. It limps as a quadruped which does not go on all its four legs. Omnis comparatio claudicat (all similes limp).

“No simile can go on all-fours.” Macaulay.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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