between you, me, and the lamppost

between

[bih-tween]
preposition
1.
in the space separating (two points, objects, etc.): between New York and Chicago.
2.
intermediate to, in time, quantity, or degree: between twelve and one o'clock; between 50 and 60 apples; between pink and red.
3.
linking; connecting: air service between cities.
4.
in portions for each of (two people): splitting the profits between them.
5.
among: sharing the responsibilities between the five of us.
6.
by the dual or common action or participation of: Between us, we can finish the job in a couple of hours.
7.
distinguishing one from the other: He couldn't see the difference between good and bad.
8.
in comparing: no preference between the two wines.
9.
by the combined effect of.
10.
existing confidentially for: We'll keep this matter between the two of us.
11.
involving; concerning: war between nations; choice between things.
12.
being felt jointly or reciprocated by: the love between them.
13.
by joint possession of: Between them they own most of this company.
14.
Heraldry. in the midst of, so as to make a symmetrical composition: a cross argent between four bezants.
noun
15.
Usually, betweens. a short needle with a rounded eye and a sharp point, used for fine hand stitchery in heavy fabric.
adverb
16.
in the intervening space or time; in an intermediate position or relation: two windows with a door between; visits that were far between.
Idioms
17.
between ourselves, confidentially; in trust. Also, between you and me, between you, me, and the post/lamppost/gatepost/etc.
18.
in between,
a.
situated in an intermediary area or on a line or imaginary line connecting two points, things, etc.
b.
in the way: I reached for the ball, but the dog got in between.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English betwene, Old English betwēonan, betwēonum, equivalent to be- be- + twēon- (cognate with Gothic tweihn(ai) two each) + -um dative plural ending

betweenness, noun

amid, among, between (see synonym study at among)(see usage note at the current entry).


See among.


Among expresses a relationship when more than two persons or things are involved: Distrust spread among even his strongest supporters. Between is used when only two persons or things are involved: between you and me; to decide between tea and coffee. Between also continues to be used, as it has been throughout its entire history, to express a relationship of persons or things considered individually, no matter how many: Tossing up coins between three people always takes a little working out. Between holding public office, teaching, and writing, she has little free time.
Although not generally accepted as good usage, between you and I is heard occasionally in the speech of educated persons. By the traditional rules of grammar, when a pronoun is the object of a preposition, that pronoun should be in the objective case: between you and me; between her and them. The use of the nominative form (I, he, she, they, etc.) arises partly as overcorrection, the reasoning being that if it is correct at the end of a sentence like It is I, it must also be correct at the end of the phrase between you and …. The choice of pronoun also owes something to the tendency for the final pronoun in a compound object to be in the nominative case after a verb: It was kind of you to invite my wife and I. This too is not generally regarded as good usage.
The construction between each (or every) is sometimes objected to on the grounds that between calls for a plural or compound object. However, the construction is old and fully standard when the sense indicates that more than one thing is meant: Spread softened butter between each layer of pastry. There were marigolds peeking between every row of vegetables. The construction betweento is a blend of betweenand (between 15 and 25 miles) and fromto (from 15 to 25 miles). It occurs occasionally in informal speech but not in formal speech or writing.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
between (bɪˈtwiːn)
 
prep
1.  at a point or in a region intermediate to two other points in space, times, degrees, etc
2.  in combination; together: between them, they saved enough money to buy a car
3.  confined or restricted to: between you and me
4.  indicating a reciprocal relation or comparison: an argument between a man and his wife
5.  indicating two or more alternatives: a choice between going now and staying all night
 
adv
6.  between one specified thing and another: two houses with a garage between
 
usage  After distribute and words with a similar meaning, among should be used rather than between: this enterprise issued shares which were distributed among its workers

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

between
O.E. betweonum "between, among, by turns," from bi- "by" + tweonum dat. pl. of *tweon "two each" (cf. Goth. tweih-nai "two each"). Horace Walpole's playful coinage betweenity (1760) is a useful word. Between a rock and a hard place is from 1940s, originally cowboy slang.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Synonyms
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