He who laughs last laughs longest

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Garbuz

Senior Member
Russian
I'd like to ask you to confirm the last word in this proverb. Is it only 'longest' or could it also be 'longer' or 'long'?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    I've always used "longest". I suppose with two parties you could use "longer" but I have never heard that.

    I'm not sure how far back it goes, but there is a reference in the London Magazine of 1763 to the common proverb "He that laughs last, laughs longest."
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    ["He who laughs last laughs loudest"] In my usage it is.
    :eek: This is truly regional; in my region of Derby (Chaddesden) it is, "He who laughs last laughs longest."

    Whatever adjective though, as the saying is a generality and thus "he" is a general reference to "anyone", it will always be the superlative.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    :eek: This is truly regional; in my region of Derby (Chaddesden) it is, "He who laughs last laughs longest."
    It could well be regional, as I am not originally from Derby , mi duck, let alone Chaddo. :D Actually, I might use your version too. At all events, the last word of the proverb has to be a superlative, not a comparative or a bare adjective, as you and others have implied.
     
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