famous last words
  1. A notable final utterance before death, especially one made by a celebrity or historical figure.
    • 1908, "“Don't Give Up The Ship.” ↗," New York Times, 5 Jan. (retrieved 2 Oct 2010):
      Lawrence died defending his vessel and his famous last words, "Don't give up the ship," have been familiar to every schoolboy.
  2. (figuratively, expressing sarcasm) A statement which is overly optimistic, results from overconfidence, or lacks realistic foresight.
    • 1986, Janice Castro et al. "[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,961584,00.html The Price Was Finally Right]," Time, 9 June:
      Says one Sperry product executive: "As a manager, there is almost nothing you can do to get fired here." Considering the new circumstances, those could be famous last words.
      "Famous last words."
      "Those sound like such famous last words," Dave said.

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