Words, Famous Last


According to the website clogpoppers.com, at the end of 2014, there were more than 883,000 dying declarations considered worthy of recording for posterity, from the Greek philosopher, Anaxagras, (“Give the boys a holiday”) to the poet William Wordsworth, (“Is that you, Dora”).

The famous last words most often used in other contexts (excluding biographies, monumental masonry and tea towels) are:

“One day, my dear, I think they may well name a range of small electrical appliances after you.”  Adolf Hitler.

Mon Dieu, je n’a  jamais vu que venir.” Nostradamus.

“My moustache is time, my ears are fish.”  Salvador Dali.

By contrast, fewer than 120 famous first words have been recorded, while simultaneous first and last words are confined to

“Give me more rusk oh God I’m choking”

uttered by the precocious 8-month-old son of Willem and Katerina Zwieback of Little Dumpling in Shropshire.