Goodnight Vienna


it’s the end

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Every diver dives six times – if he dives brilliantly five times and screws up the sixth, it’s GOODNIGHT VIENNA.”

Simon Hattenstone - The Guardian

Did you
know?

Goodnight Vienna!
catch phrase

- an expression signalling the end of something

- events have reached a state of completion; nothing more can be done


ORIGIN

The phrase ‘Goodnight Vienna’ is most commonly used in the UK and is first found in print as the title of a 1932 radio operetta written by Eric Maschwitz, which was later made into a film of the same name starring Jack Buchanan and Anna Neagle. However, there’s no reason to see this as the source of the expression as it is now used, with the meaning 'It’s all over' - the film’s use of the two words is merely a coincidence deriving from the storyline of two lovers who say farewell in Vienna.

For the origin "It’s all over now" we need to move forward to the 1960s. The film was well-known and its title was put to use by a journalist on the UK newspaper The Coventry Standard in April 1965, in a story about a woman gymnast called Maureen Wallis. Wallis was due to be part of a group of gymnasts to take part in a display in Vienna but twisted her ankle at the last minute. The paper reported this with:

“It is 'Goodnight Vienna' for the dark-haired senior champion.”

Ringo Starr used 'Goodnight Vienna' as the name of an album that he released in 1974. The title track was written by John Lennon. The lyrics of the song are ambiguous but they do seem to refer to 'the inevitable happened' meaning of the phrase. Lennon didn’t coin the phrase but its use as an album and song title brought it to a much wider audience.

Adapted from Gary Martin - Phrase Finder


SYNONYMS

It’s all over! That’s it then! That was it! That is it! And that’s that! And that is the end of the matter! Merci, au revoir! End of story! Finis!


SMUGGLE OWAD into today’s conversation:

“When their CEO sees their sales results, it’s GOODNIGHT VIENNA for the whole team.”


Thanks to Christina (from Vienna!) for suggesting today’s word!


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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