famous last words

famous last words

Meaning | Synonyms

  • a comment or a prophecy that is expected to be proved incorrect
  • declaration that is promptly counteracted
  • a speech or claim that is rapidly contradicted

Example Sentences

  1. I was thinking that I will not have dinner today. Famous last words, I am very hungry.
  2. I replied Jack’s friendship proposal as “I hate you!” Famous last words! Then only after few weeks I fell in love with him.
  3. I think it’s not raining and we can go out playing today. Famous last words! Once look outside in window.
  4. I will never shout on you, promise! … Huh? .” Famous last words! You are still shouting and just shut up.
  5. I swore in the morning that I would not drink anymore. My famous last words.


This phrase was initially used to refer to the actual dying words of prominent people, before it evolved to be used as a rejoinder to show the possible recklessness of assertions. The very first record of its use was a statement by U.S Civil War General John Sedgwick. Right before he was shot dead by a sniper, he’d sarcastically said “They couldn’t hit an elephant from this distance.”

Another version of the comical but rather tragic actual last words to rival General Sedgwick’s are the final words of Terry Kath, a founding member of the Chicago. He’d said, “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded.” just before accidentally shooting himself in the head with a 9mm pistol.

Later, this expression was used figuratively as a joke to suggest that something said might be offensive and cause the speaker to be put in a dangerous position. The first instances of this form were printed in a cartoon series in the 1920s/30s.

The expression was later used to refer to more general potentially dangerous situations that do not necessarily involve the speaker. Now, it is also used widely to reference situations where the outcome might be bad but not lethal.


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Idiom of the Day

be up on

Meaning: be well informed about a matter or subject

Example: If you want to start teaching English to grown-up kids, you need to be up on it else you're going to be unable to clarify their doubts. Read on


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