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Good Night Irene

Posted by ESC on May 04, 2005

In Reply to: Good Night Irene posted by James Briggs on May 04, 2005

: : Good Night Irene. What is it's origin?

: It's the title of a 1950s popular song. Go to for the lyrics

My favorite is the Willie Nelson version. But anyway. This sounds like the expression may have a history pre-song:

"good night - interj. (used to indicate or comment on a disastrous conclusion; also used to indicate surprise or exasperation). - also constru. With 'nurse,' 'Irene,' etc. ..1918 'Independent' (June 22) 472: 'When he draws a bead on one, it's good night nurse.'" From "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, A-G" by J. E. Lighter.