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

Well-Known Expressions

He who laughs last laughs best

Meaning:

The winner is the one who is ahead at the end of the game

Background:

Like so many, this proverb has been traced to John Heywood's 1546 book of proverbs, the second collection he edited on the subject. Many variations exist including 'a last laugh is the best laugh', he who laughs last, laughs longest, he who weeps least, weeps best, and so on.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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