Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

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Awaiting for a seemingly inevitable event, waiting for something bad to happen


  • This expression originated from the early 20th century to refer to waiting for something bad that is inevitable in the near future. The phrase might have come from a story of an old joke about a person who lived in boarding house. He woke up his neighbor downstairs when he dropped his one shoe on the floor. Then, he realized his mistake and put the second show politely and went to sleep. After a while, the neighbor downstairs woke him up by shouting “When are you going to drop the second shoe so that I can get to sleep?” That neighbor was waiting for the second show to drop. Thus the expression indicates the situation about something that has a bad first part you are bound to expect the second part as worst.

He was just waiting for the other shoe to drop once he started gambling.

Submitted on February 25, 2019


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"Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 18 Aug. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop_45118>.

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