[Ads-l] Adage: The opera ain't over until the fat lady sings.

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 11 04:38:23 UTC 2015

Back in September 2013 some messages on the list discussed a popular
family of adages in the sports world. The Dictionary of Modern
Proverbs has four interrelated entries in this area. The Quote
Investigator website now has an entry that explores this family:


Church ain't over till they quit singing.
Church isn't over until the choir stops singing
Church ain't out 'till the fat lady sings.
The opera ain't over until the fat lady sings.
The game isn't over until the fat lady sings.

Here is part of the acknowledgement:

[Begin excerpt]
Special thanks to Fred Shapiro who located the key citation dated
March 10, 1976. Also thanks to Ralph Keyes, Charles Doyle, Barry
Popik, and Nigel Rees for their valuable research. Additional thanks
to the discussants on the ADS mailing list.
[End excerpt]

Bonus citation:

[ref]1962 November 22, Rockford Register-Star (Register-Republic),
Section: Sports, New Form of Opera by Jim Murray, Quote Page D3,
Column 1, Rockford, Illinois. (GenealogyBank)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Everyone dies in the third act. There's so many bodies sprawled around
it looks like an air raid. There's an old saying, an opera is never
over till the last man is dead. And they die loud. It's the home of
the high-C death rattle.
[End excerpt

Feedback welcome,
(Message bcced to Fred, Charlie, and Barry)

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

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