Lucky at cards, unlucky in love <Vs> unlucky at cards...

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Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,


1. I read that the expression "lucky at cards, unlucky in love" is the only one natural; one can't say for example the opposite "unlucky at cards, lucky in love". The original fixed version "lucky at cards, unlucky in love" is enough because it already has two meanings: (a) if you often win at games, you will not/can't have happy love affairs; (b) if you lose at games, you will/can have happy love affairs.

2. My questions: Do you agree with my two defintions (a) and (b) for "lucky at cards, unlucky in love"? Is it idiomatic/natural English to use "unlucky at cards, lucky in love"?


Thank you in advance!
 
  • MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    >>1. I read that the expression "lucky at cards, unlucky in love" is the only one natural; one can't say for example the opposite "unlucky at cards, lucky in love".<<

    That is correct.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Thank you very much, MuttQuad. You solved many problems here today.

    One last question: could you help me with a context/dialogue where the definition (b) is used? I'm asking because I didn't find a dialogue/context for (b) anywhere on the whole Internet.

    Two meanings: (a) if you often win at games, you will not/can't have happy love affairs; (b) if you lose at games, you will/can have happy love affairs.
    Thank you in advance!
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    >>One last question: could you help me with a context/dialogue where the definition (b) is used? I'm asking because I didn't find a dialogue/context for (b) anywhere on the whole Internet.<<

    I can't, as I don't think I have ever seen the expression structured that way.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In COHA (corpus of Historical American English) there are a few examples. "Unlucky at cards, lucky in love" seems to be a little more common, athough there are only a handful of examples. "Unlucky at play" also occurs.
    Is it an English proverb? Or is it a translation? For example, it occurs in The Three Musketeers and in War and Peace.
     
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