Short a security / long a security; short sale

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toygekko

Senior Member
Could anybody who's interested in the capital markets and knows a bit about language please elaborate on the etymology of the expressions in the title of this thread? For example, I've always wondered whether to be "long" a security is modelled on being "short" one or vice versa. Any language-sensitive trader (or EMH fan, for that matter :)) out there? Thanks, in advance!
 
  • toygekko

    Senior Member
    Right. The thing is, I wasn't familiar with the use of "long" to mean "a lot of". :( As a result, I erroneously conjectured that the expression "to be long sth" was limited to the turn of phrase "to be long a stock", itself being a kind of "back formation" from "to be short of sth". Peeking into a dictionary and seeing telltale confusion on the part of other posters, I swiftly rejected my conjecture. :)
     
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