The outcome is not in doubt, now it's time to celebrate
Sometimes: All over but the shouting
The earliest known written use of this expression is in The Sporting Magazine (a UK journal) in 1942, in an article by Charles James Apperley, writing under the pseudonym of Nimrod.
But there are two conflicting origins for the expression. The first dates back to the nineteenth century when ballots were counted by hand and the results were not available until long after the polls had closed (due to the time taken to hand count). The announcement of the start of the count often triggered a loud roar from those who had voted. In a one sided contest, it would be obvious who the winner was at this time because of the volume of cheering for a particular person. In other words, the outcome was unofficial but decided - it was all over bar the shouting.
The second is that the shouting refers to any arguments that take place after the outcome of an event is already decided which, taking the expression at face value, would seem to be the more plausible option.
These days the expression is usually used in the context of celebrating a political or sporting win - when the hard work has finished and all there is to do is celebrate.
"Goliath lay where he had fallen, staining the sandy earth brown. There was not even a twitch. My joy was immense... It was all over but the shouting, and God knows there was plenty of that." - Joseph Heller, God Knows (1984)
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.