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Posted by ESC on May 23, 2006

In Reply to: ONE'S NUMBER COMES UP posted by ESC on May 23, 2006

: : Dear native speaking experts,

: : Could you comment on the expression ONE'S NUMBER COMES UP as in:

: : My number finally came up, though. I just accepted a job in New York.

: : I've been fairly active in the development of backcountry skiing around the area and unfortunately, my number finally came up," he said.

: : How does this phrase correlate with the expression ONE'S NUMBER IS UP:

: : I think that the manager's number is up and he will soon be fired from his job.

: : Thank you,
: : Yuri

: My number came up. See //

Don't have an origin for the other:

"To have one's number up" means to be in trouble or dead (both, I suppose, if the latter) and has a different origin: military, 20th century, acc. to Eric Partridge's "Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English," which also says that "one's number is up" means "he won't live (being destined for death) or, less often, he is sure to be detected: the former a general colloquialism; the latter, military slang: C.20."