Posted by Bob on July 15, 2005
In Reply to: It's not over until the fat lady sings posted by David FG on July 15, 2005
: : I was suprised to only find a single origin to this saying referring to the end of an opera or a church service. I understood that the phrase originated from Victorian steam train vernacular commonly directed at a flailing stoker "come on boy It's not over until the fat lady sings!" referring to the 'fat lady' (the trains boiler) and 'singing' being her whistle when fully stoked. Can anyone verify or refute this theory?
: That's a new one on me. I have always been led to believe in the straightforward operatic theory and the generously upholstered divas.
: The train idea seems a little too contrived for my taste, but at least it doesn't involve the navy. (Yet.)
We've had this discussion a number of times; the Archives have a fairly complete and credible stroy to tell. Try http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/19/messages/174.html