Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 27, 2007
In Reply to: Just a fluke posted by ESC on April 27, 2007
: : Where does the phrase "just a fluke" originate?
: Merriam-Webster says its origin is unknown: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary
But the Shorter Oxford says the first recorded use of "fluke" in the sense "a successful stroke made by accident or chance" is in 1857, and suggests that it derives either from a dialect word meaning "guess/miss in fishing" or is a pun on another meaning of "fluke", viz. "flounder" (the flatfish) - in other words, if you make a fluke, you're just floundering and your success is just due to luck. (VSD)