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there's many a slip twixt cup and lip
proverb Even something that one feels confident will succeed can have disastrous problems before it concludes. "Twixt" is a shortening of "betwixt," an archaic form of "between." Everything seems to be going smoothly, but there's many a slip twixt cup and lip, so don't lose focus until we're over the finish line.
A shortened form of "betwixt," an archaic word for "between." It can be used with or without an apostrophe before it. I'm twixt and between about going back to school. I got a great scholarship offer, but I don't know that I want to juggle schoolwork and a full-time job.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip
. Prov. Many things may happen to prevent you from carrying out what you intend to do. Bob: Now that I have a contract with a publisher, nothing in the world can stop me from writing this book. Alan: Don't be so sure. There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
there is many a slip twixt cup and lipLITERARY
If you say there is many a slip twixt cup and lip, you mean that plans often go wrong before they are completed so you cannot be sure of what will happen. The building is due for completion in September, but as they say, there's many a slip twixt cup and lip. Note: People sometimes just say there's many a slip, or change the second half of the expression. But there's many a slip twixt now and the eight or nine months it will take the company to design and reopen a new café. Note: `Twixt' is an old-fashioned word meaning `between'.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, there's
Nothing is certain until one possesses it. This old proverb is thought by many to come from the ancient Greek legend of Antaeus, helmsman of the ship Argo. A slave told him he would never live to taste the wine from his own vineyard. As some wine from his grapes was set before him, he sent for the slave to show him his mistake, but the slave allegedly said, “There’s many a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip.” Just then a messenger arrived, telling him the Calydonian boar was destroying his vineyard. Antaeus jumped up, set down his wine, and went out to kill the boar, but was himself killed by the ferocious animal. Another writer believes the phrase comes from Homer’s Odyssey, in which Odysseus aimed an arrow at Antinous as he was about to drink some wine. The arrow hit him in the throat, and the cup fell from his hands before he could drink.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer