Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Oct 2 20:36:22 UTC 2011

"theirs to lose" should bring in a lot of sports contexts (can't imagine how many involving this year's Red Sox and/or Braves:  theirs to lose, and they lost it) and political ones (to parties).


On Oct 2, 2011, at 1:18 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> 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...
>    VS-)
> 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 -

The American Dialect Society -

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