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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. You know how much of a sore loser he is, so why would you keep reminding him that he lost the match? Of course he's going to go off and pout. We didn't want to be sore losers, so we went and congratulated the other team after they won.
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!

loser's limp

1. sports An affected limp in one's gait that is done to disguise the reason why one has failed or made an error. The wide receiver let the ball slip through his fingers, tumbled to the ground, and got up with a loser's limp.
2. By extension, an excuse or source of blame that one provides, either to oneself or to others, in order to justify one's inability to achieve something or perform to the highest possible standard. A: "Look, I'd love to pursue a more meaningful career, but I just don't have time to learn the skills I would need." B: "Don't start leaning on that loser's limp. Everyone has time to learn something new—but you've got to have the motivation and determination to do it." He blamed the defeat on a lack of offense by his teammates and not his own subpar effort on the mound—a classic loser's limp.
See also: limp

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

three-time loser

Someone who is hopelessly unable to find success, either due to misfortune or ineptitude. I don't know why I ever married a three-time loser like you! You're just a three-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

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. © 2022 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 ?
Although negative signs are associated with the size factor dummy variable coefficients, the size effect seems to be less important in identifying loser shares.
In "Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition Doubles," the paired contestants will undergo rigorous training conducted by challenge masters Matteo Guidicelli and Robi Domingo, along with coaches Jim and Toni Saret.
To ensure that the participants accomplish the results they're looking for, the Losers Challenge 2013 concentrates on losing weight, improving their fitness, learning the nuances of nutrition, and refreshing their minds within a controlled environment.
After 16 weeks, all contestants do a Final Weigh In and the one who has lost the most weight will win pounds 25,000 and The Biggest Loser title.
Continuing the trend, more viewers fled when "Loser" kicked off its latest edition Jan.
A strict loser-pays system that shifts the prevailing party's attorneys' fees to the loser has been the norm in most of the Western world for generations, but it has never gained traction in the United States, despite advocacy from the defense bar in favor of such laws.
The Biggest Loser format has proved itself to be one the most dramatic weight-loss programmes of recent times, so much so that after originating with our American cousins, it's been replicated the world over - and produced some astonishing results.
The Biggest Loser: The Weight-Loss Program To Transform Your Body, Health And Life (1594863849, $18.95) comes from the Biggest Loser Experts, cast, and Maggie Greenwood-Robinson, Ph.D.
The British tradition of freedom of speech is a loser. The rule of law in Birmingham is a loser.
In "The Loser Thing," an early survey of the tendency (Artforum, September 1992), Rhonda Lieberman defines abjection as being "cast off, existing in or resigned to a low state--dumped by yourself, as you psychotically misrecognize yourself in ideals." Citing Marcel Proust (who embarked on the translation of Ruskin's art-historical writings despite being insufficiently fluent in spoken English "to order chops in a pub") and Samuel Beckett (who bought the same size shoes as James Joyce, literally walking "in the master's footsteps" until his feet got too sore), she characterizes these acts of high-end homage as "constitutionally abject," attitudinal precursors to their pathetic descendants.
Loser, is a visiting senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue, working on financial, macroeconomic and trade issues, focusing particularly on the management of financial crises in Latin America.
The International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers named Eckhard Loser and Albert Moore recipients of the institute's two highest awards.
"None of you is the loser; none of you is the winner."
But magician DavidBlaine was voted the biggest loser of 2003 as one in four Britons ranked the American illusionist as the top flop of the last 12 months for his 44-day starvation stunt.