[Ads-l] Die, my dear doctor! That=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99s_?=the last thing I shall do

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 27 06:58:23 UTC 2021

I received a request via twitter to examine a quip supposedly
delivered by Groucho Marx while shuffling near the end of his mortal
coil: Die, that's the last thing I'll do.

Here is a link to the Quote Investigator article.

The phrasing of this quip has evolved over time. Here is a sampling
with dates. The earliest match attributed an instance to a "good old
Bishop". The next instance was attributed to Lord Palmerston.

1866 Jun 28: Dying was the last thing a man should think about.
1867 Mar 01: As for my dying, that is the last thing I shall do.
1883 May 17: Die, my dear doctor? That’s the last thing I think of doing.
1886 May 22: Die, my dear doctor! That’s the last thing I shall do.
1901 Mar 25: Die? That’s the last thing I’ll do.
1925 Jan 18: Die . . . That is the last thing I intend to do.
1933 Oct 12: The last thing that I intend to do, brethren, is to die.

Feedback welcome

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

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