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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

Second place is the first loser.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

be on (or on to) a loser

be involved in a course of action that is bound to fail.
See also: loser, on


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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
They, and a galaxy of other world figures, are listed in The Celebrity Who's Who Of Losers.
Lewis thinks some poor people with good cases will be discouraged by loser pays because they can't risk an unfair verdict or judgment against them, no matter how unlikely.
We believe these allegations are without merit and false," the producers of The Biggest Loser said in a statement.
Loser of the 1 v 4 clash in week one will host the winner of the 5 v 8 game, while the loser of the 2 v 3 contest will be at home to the winner of 6 v 7 to conclude the weekend.
But while losers may not have physical possession of an item, they still retain their legal entitlement to it.
Lions Gate is coming out with its own "The Biggest Loser Workout," which will be bundled with the Rodale diet book and sold through direct mail.
00 Colin Ross, Rochester, Kent; highest-scoring loser with +25.
After a tussle, the winner remains in a combative mood, but the loser can't muster the gumption to spar for at least 24 hours.
This volume consists of thirteen papers presented at a conference at the University of Rochester in 1988; these are prefaced by a 20 page introduction on the gainers and losers in the Atlantic slave trade by the editors.
How does one become a loser in investment management?
No more game here, man," observed his fellow loser.
5M WINNER LOSER ASTON VILLA Paul Lambert's best bit of business was keeping striker Christian Benteke, who declared he was off to Spurs.