Why do we say "He who laughs last, lasts best.

Well-Known Expressions

He who laughs last, lasts best

Meaning:

The minor setbacks of life, or a game, don't matter - all that matters is who wins at the end.

Background:

As do so many other proverbs in use today, this phrase traces its source to the prolific John Heywood and his 1546 book of proverbs. John Heywood was a 16th century English dramatist employed at the courts of first Henvry VIII and then Queen Mary, as a singer, musician and playwright. When the Protestant Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne in 1564, Heywood (a Roman Catholic) fled to Belgium where he stayed for the rest of his life. He is considered important to the development of English comedy and is also remembered for his epigrams, proverbs and ballads.

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