ns was thinking this expression the other day when it appeared that the odds to be stacked versus me.

I thought, why execute I use the words, "can"t victory for losing"?

What that that in reality mean?

Where go saying the come from and also how execute those words equate come "the odds space stacked against me"?

Which is a more clear-cut expression?


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Elephind and Google publications searches dig up instances of the expression going earlier to the 1920s. The oldest enhance is indigenous Johnny Dope, "Squints in ~ Sports," in the day-to-day Illini (May 13, 1920):

Out that 21 beginning the Detroit many tigers won six games. Castle can"t success for losing.

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From Making Paper, volume 9 (1926) , which has the expression on page 180:

We have actually a little lady in our office who just couldn"t win for losing. She didn"t have to holler "come you "leven." She always drew it.

and again on web page 215:

Somehow Mr. Hanny couldn"t success for losing.

Also, from "Canyon Splits through Warriors at regional Field," in the McMurry war Whoop (May 5, 1928):

"Can"t success for losing." That appears to express the results the Warrior round players have been meeting in their current skirmishes top top the diamond. Canyon was successful in acquisition the very first of a two game collection here critical week, although the tribe came earlier to success the second. Increase at technology this week, the tie was played off and the Torreadors showed the better. The 25-20 game, through the indians on the hefty end, was a feature of the trip.

And finally, indigenous "Temple tough Luck School," in the Breckenridge American (December 7, 1928):

TEMPLE , Dec. 7. (AP)—Temple is extolling a high school football team the "couldn"t victory for losing," which lost most of its vital games, yet which always gave the home town rooters a remarkable thrill.

In the eleven gamings which holy place played the holy place captain do the efforts to contact the toss of the coin every time—and fail eleven times. In every video game that the team lost it gained much more yards than its opponents. It winner the only game in which it was plainly outplayed, top top the basis of yards gained.

In its final game, the game which it most wanted to win, that outgained Waco in nearly every department other than scoring. Because that a few seconds the temple defense wavered and Waco won, regardless of the fact that Temple had actually thrown the Waco team for practically as plenty of yards loss as gain. The yards the Waco did obtain were the people right next to Temple"s goal posts. Holy place rooters room in favor of repealing the legislation of averages.

This critical account suggests that an early sense that the expression was the the human or team that "couldn"t success for losing" performed well in every page of the task except succeeding in it. However, it might be the other early on users that the term used it just to median that the human being or team couldn"t get out of its own way and was destined to lose due to the fact that it merely didn"t know how to win.

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As other answerers and also commenters have noted, "can"t success for losing" has actually lots of companions in phrases that seem come express kindred sentiment—including the one featured in 1967 Sam and Dave track "I Can"t stand up for fallout’s Down", memorably covered in 1980 by Elvis Costello.