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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The American Dialect Society list (ADS-L) had this:
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2003 13:51:20 +0100
Subject: Not over till the fat lady sings ... in Texas?

A subscriber has sent me a note which sounds like one of the more inventive bits of folk etymological invention that have come my way recently. But might there just be a smidgen of truth in it?

He claims the expression comes from the Texas legislature, in which at one time (he quotes a time around WW2) an opera singer performed at the end of each legislative session. Whenever a legislator or lobbyist suffered a defeat, he would say, "It ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings!", by which he would declare that his project wasn't finally defeated until the session was adjourned.
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