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It’s not over till the fat lady sings

February 4, 2010

This is a phrase whose meaning is to not be over-confident about the outcome of some competition.  This is most often used in sporting events such as football or basketball.  The meaning is that until there is no more time left in the game, the outcome is not yet decided.  It is a warning to a person who is overconfident about some outcome by saying to them “It’s not over till the fat lady sings.”

This saying refers to western operas.  In western operas it is most often thought that when the last battle is fought and the hero is laying down dying, his wife or girlfriend will stand over him and sing.  The thought is that most female opera singers are fat, so you can tell the opera is ending when the fat lady is singing a solos song.


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