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Luck of the draw

  • Luck of the draw is an idiom that came into use in the mid-twentieth century. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words, or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, in the same boat, bite the bullet, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. We will examine the meaning of the idiom luck of the draw, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    Luck of the draw describes something that is out of your control. The luck of the draw describes a situation with an outcome based on chance; the subject has no choice in the matter. For instance, the family one is born into is the luck of the draw. The expression luck of the draw came into use in the 1940s and comes from card games. In many card games, playing cards are drawn from a randomly shuffled pile throughout the game. These playing cards may or may not change the outcome of the game.

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    Examples

    And every pessimistic one can’t believe the bad luck of the draw to see their beloved team dealt such a brutal schedule. (The New York Post)

    The “luck of the draw” in which three judges are assigned to an appeal would have a significant bearing on the players’ chances. (Sports Illustrated)

    The horse and the buggy of 1906 have been replaced by cars and planes; morphine for medical aesthetics and the surgical knife have been replaced by the laser; caveat emptor has been replaced by consumer law; child labour has been replaced, period; a whole network of social services and systems is in place to replace the luck of the draw that used to characterize employment relationships; the phonograph has been replaced by Spotify; the hegemony of the majority has been replaced by the assertive diversity of minorities; and adoring wives have been replaced by exhausted ones. (The Globe and Mail)

    Carson said when it comes to the coronavirus, even the most stringent measures may not be enough to dodge “the luck of the draw.” (The Minneapolis Star Tribune)


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