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a sore loser

Someone who complains, becomes upset, or otherwise reacts very negatively when they fail or lose at something competitive. Don't be such a sore loser, Jim. I know you pride yourself on your racquetball skills, but I beat you fair and square.
See also: loser, sore

be on a loser

To part of a failing effort. I really think she's on a loser with this project—there's no way it'll get funded.
See also: loser, on

finders keepers(, losers weepers)

A children's rhyme meaning that if someone finds something, they are entitled to keep it (even if it belongs to someone else). Jake yelled "finders keepers" as he dashed toward the house with the sparkling ring he had discovered. A: "Hey, that's my favorite toy!" B: "But I found it out on the playground. Finders keepers, losers weepers!"
See also: finder, loser

first loser

One who achieves second place in a competition, i.e., who loses to the first-place contestant. Likely derived from the phrase "Second place is the first loser," which was popularized by (and often credited to) race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (1951–2001). You go out into that ring and you give it absolutely everything you've got! You haven't come all this way to simply be crowned the first loser!
See also: first, loser


1. Someone who has failed at something or seems unlikely to be successful in the future. When my start-up failed, I felt like the biggest loser in the world. I could hardly even get out of bed in the morning, let alone pivot to a new business venture. I've already been through two divorces, so why would a two-time loser like me want to get married again?
2. slang Someone who is regarded as extremely or hopelessly uncool. Often used as a term of address. Why do they think I'm a loser? Is it just because I don't drink? I can't ask a loser like Mike to the prom—how embarrassing! Beat it, loser. You're not welcome here!
3. slang Something of poor or inferior quality. I'm sorry, but I think this car's a loser, Camille. We could barely make it two blocks before the engine started sputtering!

Second place is the first loser.

proverb sports adage Coming in second place means you have still ultimately failed to win in the end. Popularized by (and often credited to) race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (1951–2001). You go out into that ring and you give it absolutely everything you've got! After all, second place is the first loser!
See also: first, place, second

two-time loser

Someone who is hopelessly unable to find success. I don't know why I ever married a two-time loser like you! You're just a two-time loser, Betty. I'll be running my own company some day, and you'll still be here answering the phone at reception.
See also: loser
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

two-time loser

a confirmed loser. Poor Richard is a two-time loser. Martin is a two-time loser, or at least he looks like one.
See also: loser
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

finders, keepers

A phrase meaning that whoever finds something is entitled to keep it. For example, Someone left a dollar bill in this rented car-finders, keepers. This expression alludes to an ancient Roman law to that effect and has been stated in numerous different ways over the centuries. The modern version, often stated as Finders keepers, losers weepers, dates from the mid-1800s and is no longer a legal precept.
See also: keeper


see under finders, keepers.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

be on (or on to) a loser

be involved in a course of action that is bound to fail.
See also: loser, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


n. an inept person; an undesirable or annoying person; a social failure. Those guys are all losers. They’ll never amount to anything.

two-time loser

n. a confirmed loser. Martin is a two-time loser, or at least he looks like one.
See also: loser
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

finders, keepers

Those who obtain something simply by discovering it are entitled to keep it. There are several versions of this expression, all of them referring to the law that a person who finds something, even if it is someone else’s property, may keep it for himself or herself. The earliest references are in writings of the Roman playwright Plautus and date from approximately 200 b.c. Two millennia later, D. M. Moir (Mansie Wauch, 1824) referred to “the auld Scotch proverb of ‘he that finds, keeps, and he that loses seeks.’” Charles Reade also called it a proverb: “Losers seekers, finders keepers” (It Is Never Too Late to Mend, 1856). The modern schoolyard version is “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” Legal implications aside, the poetic rhythm of this expression no doubt helps account for its long life.
See also: keeper
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Brian Turnbull54, mature student, HullLOSS: 6.00 Three losers yesterday
ESSEX (2003 - County Championship: 7th in Division One, relegated; National League: 3rd in Division One; C&G Trophy: Round four; Twenty20: Group losers)
Posh Spice Victoria Beckham was voted the fifth biggest loser for her struggle to break into America One in ten of those polled voted for the Australian nation, after their rugby team got the boot from Jonny Wilkinson in the World Cup final.
Ophir hypothesizes that by choosing the loser of a confrontation, a female reduces her risk of injury.
The remaining 66% of the study participants were "slow losers," losing 3% or less of trabecular bone per year.
In 9 months, a subgroup of women who were "fast bone losers" went from losing trabecular bone at a rate of 6.5% per year to gaining trabecular bone at a rate of 0.9% per year.
He suggested antiresorptive medication for fast losers of trabecular bone, with the addition of anabolic agents after 9 months of therapy.
Later I pressed the point about Toby's "innocence": What if we'd seen him as not only a loser but a bitter, calculating loser who uses the family to redeem himself?
In his first nine years he produces eight losers and no pennants.
Currently, the producer can take the losses of the 7 losers and capitalize them in the balance sheet.
They, and a galaxy of other world figures, are listed in The Celebrity Who's Who Of Losers. The tongue-in-cheek book is written by Dr Doug Gordon, proud founder of the International Losers' Club.
That epics are about winners and losers is not exactly a counterintuitive proposition and may not seem a likely basis for a fresh take on the tradition, but David Quint's book is full of surprises.
The biggest losers recorded by the HVI were hotels located in Philadelphia which lost 19 percent of their value, followed by properties in Norfolk, Riverside and Boston which lost 18 percent, 15 percent and 15 percent respectively.
As an example, for patients in some DRG categories that have often been viewed by hospitals as economic losers, the primary diagnosis is sometimes interchanged with the secondary diagnosis to convert the case to another higher paying DRG.