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square one

a starting point; initial stage or step:
If this plan fails, we'll have to go back to square one.
Origin of square one
1955-60; alluding to board games in which a player is penalized by being forced to return to the starting point Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Slang definitions & phrases for square-one

square John

noun phrase

An ordinary honest person; a good citizen; a noncriminal person who can be victimized by, and is contemptuously regarded by, criminals (1920s+ Underworld)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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