Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 2 17:18:02 UTC 2011

Keeping in mind the distinction, I just popped a quick search for "yours
to lose" and it goes back almost 130 years--at least. One citation near
the top is from 1918 that has "yours to win and yours to lose" and
another from 1873, "But you forget that the money is not yours to lose",
so, clearly, that's the same one that we've been looking at as "modern"
in the first instance, and the same as the 1916 one in the second. Most
are clustered in the 1890s. The earliest I see is from 1872:
> This is folly, dear friend,' sad she, looking down ; ' I never las
> yours to lose.' '

[Also a magazine version earlier in 1872]

"His to lose" is even more frequent, but I just spotted a 1855 and 1832
citations. I am not going to bother with "mine to lose". All of these
"one's to lose" appear to be either in addition to or in opposition to
"one's to keep", which may well be older. Or not...


On 10/2/2011 11:33 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
> Spotted in a blog comment last night:
>> Revealing the hypocrisy of legislators is predicated on them having a
>> sense of shame, or their electors having a problem with electing
>> hypocrites. In both cases, you’re threatening a fish with a haircut.
> A fish needs a haircut like she needs a bicycle...
> VS-)

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list