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Origin in gambling

Posted by R. Berg on November 01, 2001

In Reply to: Where is the origin of "read it and weep" posted by Louis on November 01, 2001

: Where is the origin of the phrase "read it and weep" wouldn;t mind knowing this one soon.

From Eric Partridge, "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British":

"read 'em and weep!" is, among US gamblers of C20, a dice-thrower's 'threat that he is going to throw a winning number' (Lester V. Berrey and Melvin Van Den Bark, "The American Thesaurus of Slang," 1942). Not, since the middle 1940s, unknown among Brit. gamblers.
'Originally, I think, from poker--i.e., when laying down a (presumably) winning hand: read those cards--and weep. Whence, in crap[s], but now general, concerning any material (e.g., a financial statement) likely to distress the recipient' (Robert Claiborne, 1978).