Posted by ESC on July 28, 2000
In Reply to: Slim Chance and Fat Chance posted by Frankie on July 28, 2000
: : Heh heh...
: : I knew there was only a slim chance of finding out why these two phrases mean the same thing!
: : Where I come from, the 2 are used to mean similar things (ie. not much chance at all), but are used differently.
: : Fat chance is more of a standalone statement. One person might ask a question, and the response will be
: : "fat chance!"
: : Slim chance is more often used in a sentence, as in "there is a slim chance of that happening."
: : I think, as has been alluded to earlier, that they are both regional sayings that became part of the greater store of colloquialisms.
: Sorry that both Serge and your initial submissions routed the way it did.
: By no means did I intend to disrespect your question.
: I searched for a more written and documented origin and didn't find much. Your explanation the two phrases seem as how I've heard them used. It's just one of those things for now.
How about this. The two phrases mean the same. But "slim chance" is literal. The speaker means you have a slim chance.
And "fat chance" is sarcastic -- the speaker means the opposite of what he is saying. He doesn't really mean your chance is fat. He thinks it's "slim."
Like when someone says, "Big deal." He really means the issue at hand is a little deal.