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Thread: fat chance

  1. #1
    Enjoyglish is offline Newbie
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    Default fat chance

    Hello.
    Why "fat chance" means little chance?
    Why not a lot of chance?

  2. #2
    dragn is offline Member
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    Default Re: fat chance

    It's sarcastic. It emphasizes the speaker's true meaning by expressing the opposite idea. For example:

    A: I wonder if the boss will let us have Friday afternoon off.
    B. Fat chance!


    In other words, speaker B believes there is very little chance (or a slim chance) of that happening. Speaker B is being sarcastic by saying the opposite.

    Greg

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: fat chance

    Sarcasm. The same sort of 'fat' occurs in the phrase 'a fat lot of good', which means no good at all.

    b

  4. #4
    Enjoyglish is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: fat chance

    I see. Thank you both.

    So, though it might depend on the situation,

    which do you say you use more often;"Fat chance!" or "Slim chance!" in your daily life?

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: fat chance

    Quote Originally Posted by Enjoyglish View Post
    I see. Thank you both.

    So, though it might depend on the situation,

    which do you say you use more often;"Fat chance!" or "Slim chance!" in your daily life?
    They mean different (and opposite) things, so your question is really about the speaker's preference for speaking sarcastically. ('Fat chance he has of doing X' means the same as 'His chances of doing X are slim.' But the first one has the added implication that the speaker doesn't believe that he can do X.)

    Being that sort of person, I would probably prefer the 'fat chance' version (), but this doesn't say anything about which is the more common usage.

    b

  6. #6
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    Default Re: fat chance

    PS - Referring specifically to your question, 'Fat chance!' (just those two words) is much more common to 'Slim chance!', which I don't think I've ever heard (not in Br English, at least).

    b

  7. #7
    Enjoyglish is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: fat chance

    Thank you, BobK.
    I got it.
    I've become a little familiar with that expression, which I didn't know a few days ago.

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