“Dollars to Donuts” Meaning with Easy Examples

Last Updated on March 17, 2021

Did you ever hear a conversation that featured the term ‘dollars to donuts’ and wonder what the saying meant? We are going to take a look into the meaning of this phrase and into its history and where it came from. We are also going to see how this term can fit into a conversation.

Dollars to Donuts

Dollars to Donuts Meaning

The meaning of the term ‘dollars to donuts’ is that something is a certainty.

Origin of this idiom

The saying ‘dollars to donuts’ is thought to have originated in the United States in the 19th century. It was in reference to betting odds at the time, in that dollars are of value and yet donuts are not, so if you were willing to bet your dollars with the chance of only getting donuts back, you would have to be certain that you were right.

“Dollars to Donuts” Examples

Example Sentences

You would use the term ‘dollars to donuts’ when you are extremely confident in what you are saying and want to express that to the person with whom you are talking. You might say something along the lines of

  • ‘I know this for a fact, I would be willing to bet dollars for donuts on it.’

You might also use it when in a situation of placing a bet, you could say

  • ‘I am definitely putting my money on that team winning, it’s a certainty, I’d bet dollars for donuts on it.’

Conversation Examples

How does the term ‘dollars to donuts’ fit into our every day conversations? Here are a couple of examples of where the phrase might appear. In the following conversations, we see two sets of people using the term ‘dollars for donuts’ to express how certain they are of a particular fact.

Conversation 1:

  • Person 1: “I will get you to come on this boat ride with us.”
  • Person 2: “I am not getting on a boat, I detest sailing.”
  • Person 1: “What are you willing to put on it?”
  • Person 2: “I’d bet dollars to donuts.”

Conversation 2:

  • Person 1: “Look at how Claire is flirting with Brian.”
  • Person 2: “I’d bet dollars to donuts that they go home together tonight.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

As with many other idioms, there are other ways in which you might express the meaning of the term ‘dollars to donuts.’ Here are a few examples of how you can say it using different wording.

  • I’d bet my life on it
  • I am absolutely certain
  • Without a shadow of a doubt
  • It’s a surefire thing

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