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One for the money, two for the show

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  • One for the money, two for the show is part of an expression sometimes used in English. We will examine the meaning of the expression one for the money, two for the show in its entirety, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    One for the money, two for the show is half of a rhyme used as a countdown to begin a task. The entire rhyme is: one for the money, two for the show, three to make ready and four to go. Children have used this little poem since the mid-1800s as a countdown to starting a race or competition. A famous variation of the rhyme is found in the 1955 popular song Blue Suede Shoes written by Carl Perkins: “Well, it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go.”

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    Examples

    For batsmen, as for Carl Perkins in his immortal song, when it comes to innings: one’s for the money, two’s for the show. (The Telegraph)

    A booted foot was our method of clearing the white stuff away from all four tires, after which a “One for the money, two for the show” yelp preceded our pedal-mash, after which we were happily free to go on our way. (Forbes Magazine)

    There’ll be one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and go, shop, go when the Orange Record, CD, vintage and collectable sale rocks into town on Saturday. (The Central Western Daily)

    “From a very little kid, we always used to gyrate and try sing Elvis like: One for the money, two for the show,” he said, launching in to a rendition of “Blue Suede Shoes”. (Reuters)

     


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