YBQ in WSJ / "bottle in front of me" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Oct 7 21:26:34 UTC 2008

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 4:36 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> The version attributed to Tom Waits (1977), "Champagne for my real
> friends, real pain for my sham friends," was familiar to me as a
> toast a decade earlier.  I have no idea whence it came, but I
> wouldn't be surprised to learn it had another couple of decades on it.

And then some!

1905 _New York Times_ 15 May 6/2 On moving away one of five small brass tablets
that hung on this wall and on which were engraved little bon mots such as "Real
pain for our sham friends and champagne for our real friends."

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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