number's up, one's/your/his

(redirected from one's/your/his number's up)

number's up, one's/your/his

Death or capture is imminent. This term seems to have its roots in the military. In the Royal Navy in the nineteenth century it was usual to say of someone who was killed or drowned, “He lost the number of his mess.” The term was taken up in the U.S. Army, a dead soldier being said to have “lost his mess number.” Eventually “mess” was dropped, and the current cliché was born.