Each week, I’ve been inviting readers to submit quotations whose origins they want me to try to trace, using my book, The Yale Book of Quotations, and my more recent research. Here is the latest round.
“Turnabout is fairplay.” Methunk t’was Shakespeare, but alas, no.
According to the esteemed reference work, The Yale Book of Quotations, the earliest known occurrence of the proverb “Turnabout is fair play” is in The Life and Uncommon Adventures of Capt. Dudley Bradstreet (1755).
Eric M. Jones asked:
Just for your amusement: What you can find on the web….
Ninety percent of life is just showing up. … Woody Allen
“Eighty percent of success is just showing up” – Woody Allen. Seventy percent of success in life is showing up
Woody Allen once said, “Fifty percent of life is just showing up.”
The Yale Book of Quotations, which attempts to trace all famous quotations to their earliest discoverable source, records “Showing up is 80 percent of life” from The New York Times, Aug. 21, 1977 (attributed there to Allen). If any reader can supply earlier documentation than that, I would love to hear about it.
Can you find the origin of the phrase “My Bad”
Garson O’Toole, whose great website?quoteinvestigator.com is well worth checking out, has traced “my bad” to 1985 using Google News:
1985 November 14, Gainesville Sun, “Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of SEC football” by Bobby Tyler, Page 3E, Gainesville, Florida.
(Google News archive. The assigned Google date misses by a day)
“Yes, the Vols still must host Vandy the following weekend, but c’mon, Vandy? Oops, my bad, I forgot for a moment what the Commodore did to Georgis. Silly me.”
This predates the Manute Bol usage in 1989, so Bol probably did not originate it.
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?