Bet-dollars-to-donuts Definition


(idiomatic) To suggest that something is very likely to be true or that one has a strong hunch about something. Related to the earlier 'bet dollars-to-buttons' and 'bet dollars-to-dumplings' that appeared in the 1880s, meaning 'almost certain' because the dollars are bet against something near worthless, and perhaps zero shaped.

1996. "Now I'm willing to bet you dollars to donuts that out of every twenty stills in the county, the ATF boys know, personally, at least nineteen operators." Virginia Lanier, Death in Bloodhound Red, p. 38.