famous last words

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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 reference to the final words one says before one dies. A: "I can't believe the ER has been so quiet today!" B: "Ugh, famous last words for sure." A: "There's no way we'll get stuck in traffic." B: "Famous last words. Look what's ahead."
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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 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