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famous last words

A statement or claim that is promptly undone or disproved. This phrase is often humorously or preemptively. A: "I can't believe the ER has been so quiet today!" B: "Ugh, famous last words for sure."
See also: famous, last, word

famous last words

Fig. assertions that are almost immediately countered. (Sarcastic.) A: I said I would never speak to her again in my entire life! B: Famous last words! You just said hello to her.
See also: famous, last, word

famous last words

A phrase used to express disbelief, rejection, or self-deprecation. For example, They said we'd get an extra bonus at Christmas-famous last words! or This book is bound to make the best-seller list-famous last words! This expression alludes to grandiose statements about human affairs that prove to be untrue, such as "This is the war to end all wars," or "We must make the world safe for democracy." [Late 1930s]
See also: famous, last, word

famous last words

You say famous last words, after you claim that something will definitely happen in a certain way, in order to suggest, humorously, that you may be proved wrong. No, I think this time, I'll manage just fine on my own. Famous last words. `Yes, it's all under control.' said Bertie, adding `Famous last words.' with a grin. Note: You can also use famous last words to admit that you were in fact wrong about something. When I set out from Birmingham I thought, at least I'll be finished early. Famous last words.
See also: famous, last, word

famous for being famous

having no recognizable reason for your fame other than high media exposure.
See also: being, famous

famous for fifteen minutes

(especially of an ordinary person) enjoying a brief period of fame before fading back into obscurity.
In 1968 , the pop artist Andy Warhol ( 1927–87 ) predicted that ‘in the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes’. Short-lived celebrity or notoriety is now often referred to as fifteen minutes of fame .
See also: famous, fifteen, minute

famous last words

said as an ironic comment on or reply to an overconfident assertion that may well soon be proved wrong by events.
This expression apparently originated as a catchphrase in mid 20th-century armed forces' slang.
2000 Canberra Sunday Times Speaking from New York, he said ‘I expect NASDAQ to fall more than another 5–10 per cent. Famous last words, but I expect it to break 3000, that is about a 20 per cent descent.’
See also: famous, last, word

ˌfamous ˌlast ˈwords

(informal, humorous) used when you think somebody has been too optimistic about something and is likely to be wrong: ‘The journey will only take an hour on the high-speed train.’ ‘Famous last words! That train is always late!’
Last words in this idiom refers to words spoken by somebody just before they die.
See also: famous, last, word
References in classic literature ?
Perhaps he had seen the famous pictures of the bath-room.
His joy was at its height on that day when called upon to share the secret of Cropoli the younger, and to paint the famous sign.
There was an unlimited range of society--the powerful, the wise, the witty, and the famous in every walk of life; princes, presidents, poets, generals, artists, actors, and philanthropists,--all making their own market at the fair, and deeming no price too exorbitant for such commodities as hit their fancy.
A gay sight were famous Finsbury Fields on that bright and sunny morning of lusty summertime.
At this, all that stood around whispered to one another, wondering what it all meant, and what three men the Queen was about to set against those famous archers of the King's guard.
On the other hand, a deafening burst of cheering greeted the rival herald, who, advancing from the other end of the lists, rolled forth the well-known titles of the five famous warriors who had accepted the defiance.
Both were famous warriors, but as their exploits had been performed in widely sundered countries, they had never before been able to cross lances.
But it is wrong to make up stories and then pretend that they were written by some one else more famous than yourself.
Its subject, however, seems to have been the histories of famous seers like Mopsus, Calchas, and Teiresias, and it probably took its name from Melampus, the most famous of them all.
Before the discovery of the famous silver-mines of Chanuncillo, Copiapo was in a rapid state of decay; but now it is in a very thriving condition; and the town, which was completely overthrown by an earthquake, has been rebuilt.
I am sorry," said the Owl, "to have to contradict the Crow, my famous friend and colleague.
Her neck was long and finely turned: and here, if I was not afraid of offending her delicacy, I might justly say, the highest beauties of the famous
And many a powerful one who wanted to run well with the people, hath harnessed in front of his horses--a donkey, a famous wise man.
At that date, the Mohammedan conqueror, Mahmoud of Ghizni, crossed India; seized on the holy city of Somnauth; and stripped of its treasures the famous temple, which had stood for centuries--the shrine of Hindoo pilgrimage, and the wonder of the Eastern world.
The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c.