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It's all over bar the shouting

Posted by James Briggs on May 09, 2010 at 10:49

Today is the last day of the English premiership football championship. In today's Sport's section of the Sunday Times there was, what seems like, a well researched suggestion for the origin of a common sporting saying, at least in the UK. I thought it worth passing on. The Wigan bit at the end refers to an important game that will define who becomes Champion!
"A phrase that means victory is a formality. The origin is uncertain but the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms has traced its first use in print all the way back to 1842 and a Welsh-born journalist named Charles James Apperley, who wrote under the pseudonym Nimrod for The Sporting Magazine. Two theories on the phrase's origin have become prevalent The first- and more topical - is that the roots lie in the mouth of a particularly confident rural politician who proclaimed his local election victory before it had been settled by the customary voice vote, or 'shoutings' as they became known. The second, perhaps more plausible, is that the 'shouting' refers to any argument or talking that will not alter the outcome of an event As recently as last week, Alan Green proclaimed Chelsea as Premier League champions in an Irish Examiner article headlined 'All over bar the shouting'. All over, that is, unless Wigan shout loudest of all."