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'Last chance saloon'

Posted by Mal Evans on April 21, 2006

In Reply to: 'Last chance saloon' posted by Louise on April 21, 2006

: Where does the phrase 'Last chance saloon' come from?
From a saloon in Caldwell City, Kansas built in 1869. It was so called because it was the last place to by a legal alcoholic drink before passing into Indian country where the possession and sale of alcohol was forbidden.
It has latterly been used in a political context in the UK e.g. in an interview by Jonathan Dimbleby with the then Home secretary Kenneth Clarke in 1992 where Dimbleby posed the question whether the upcoming Tory party conference was the last chance saloon for John Major's government.
I think it was used some time before, again in politics by a Thatcher government chancellor.
What is certain is that it has become a cliche in sports, politics and journalism generally.
It even appears as part of a mixed metaphor in an environmetal report, "High Noon at The Last Chance Saloon".

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