wait for the other shoe to drop (American)
to wait for something bad to happen. Once a company starts laying of employees, those who are still working feel they are waiting for the other shoe to drop._______________________
waiting for the other shoe to drop - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop -- We use this phrase to describe waiting for some expected occurrence. It's my theory that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" is a phenomenon experienced by apartment dwellers. A person in the upstairs apartment is preparing for bed. He sits on the bed, takes off Shoe No. 1 and lets it drop on the uncarpeted floor. Then takes off Shoe No. 2 and lets it drop. This can all be clearly heard by the folks in the downstairs apartment. If there is a long pause after Shoe No. 1 drops, the downstairs people are stuck "waiting for the other shoe to drop." Since I didn't grow up in an apartment, I imagine I saw this "routine" on one of the early TV sit-coms.World Wide Words: Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Re: "waiting for the other shoe to drop"
Researching the origin of the phrase was quite interesting. I found that the origin most likely was known in the 1950's. A British sitcom depicted an individual who lived in an apartment beneath a man who worked nights. The person in the lower apartment would be sound asleep when the tenant of the upper apartment came home. The tenant in the upper apartment would sit on the edge of the bed to take his shoes off. The first shoe hit the floor with a loud bang, awakening the sleeping tenant in the lower apartment. The groggy neighbor would remain awake until he heard the other shoe drop. The tenant in the upper apartment would remember that he had a sleeping neighbor below, and take the second shoe off and carefully place it on the floor, making no noise. The groggy neighbor would then yell, "For God's sake, drop the other shoe!"
In researching the origin of the phrase, waiting for the other shoe to drop, I found that most accounts of its origin were very similar. Some sources indicate that waiting for the other shoe to drop derived from an old tale of a traveler who stayed at an inn. The innkeeper informed the weary traveler that he would be in a room next to a very light sleeper. Much as the scenario above, the traveler awakened the occupant in the adjoining room by dropping his shoe on to the floor.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop likely came in to use long before the 1940's. A cartoonist in the era depicted Hitler with a shoe over the top of his head and the caption "waiting for the other shoe to drop." Regardless of its true origin, waiting for the other shoe to drop is a phrase that has withstood the test of time, as it is still commonly used today.
Origin and Meaning of "Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop" - Associated Content
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