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    #1

    Here is an idiom I don't fully understand.

    Fat chance means slim chance.

    What I am curious is that 'fat' has the opposite meaning of 'slim' but
    in above expressions, they have same meaning.
    Is there anybody who knows the origin of the expression, 'fat chance'?

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Here is an idiom I don't fully understand.

    Technically speaking, there is a slight difference between the two. A slim chance indicates there is still some hope, while a fat chance basically means no way on God's green Earth will this ever happen.

    I believe that the expression "slim chance" came first, and eventually when someone wanted to be emphatically sarcastic they used the opposite of "slim" and designated something impossible as a "fat" chance.


    Of course, this is just one of thousands of examples of confusing expressions in English. How do you pre-heat an oven? An oven has only two states: heated or unheated! Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways? If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from? etc.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Here is an idiom I don't fully understand.

    Thank you for your kind and considerate explanation.

    A lot helpful for me..

    Thanks again.




    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch
    Technically speaking, there is a slight difference between the two. A slim chance indicates there is still some hope, while a fat chance basically means no way on God's green Earth will this ever happen.
    I believe that the expression "slim chance" came first, and eventually when someone wanted to be emphatically sarcastic they used the opposite of "slim" and designated something impossible as a "fat" chance.
    Of course, this is just one of thousands of examples of confusing expressions in English. How do you pre-heat an oven? An oven has only two states: heated or unheated! Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways? If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from? etc.

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