phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: If I were a gambling man...

Posted by Masakim on January 24, 2002

In Reply to: Re: If I were a gambling man... posted by The Fallen on January 24, 2002

: : I understand the gest of it. Where does this saying come from???

: ...my bet would be that it's a gambling reference - "let the chips fall where they may", meaning no matter what the outcome, or no matter which side prevails. Though of course I could be entirely wrong, and it's probably an allusion to the casting of runestones or something...

Let the Chips Fall Where They May. Never mind the consequences: speak your mind or do what you think must be done. You can see where the idea came from in a 14th-century proverb: "Hew not too high lest the chips fall in thine eye." Today's advice is to pay attention to the hewing (the task at hand) and not worry about what happens to the chips. Roscoe Conkling, a political boss and U.S. Senator from New York, said in a speech in 1880, "He [President Grant] will hew to the line of right, let the chips fall where they may."
From _The Dictionary of Cliches_ by James Rogers

let the chips fall where they may
No matter what the consequences, as in "I'm going to tell the truth about what happened, and let the chips fall where they may." This metaphoric term alludes to chopping wood and is usually joined to a statement that one should do what is right (that is, the woodcutter should pay attention to the main task of cutting logs and not worry about small chips). [Late 1800s]
From _The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms_ by Christine Ammer