What Does Church Ain’t Out ‘Til They Quit Singing Mean?

Church Ain’t Out ‘Til They Quit Singing Meaning

Definition: Things aren’t over yet; there is still time to achieve something.

The idiom church ain’t out ‘til they quit singing means that there is still time left to achieve a particular result. It is commonly used to refer to sporting events in which one team is losing. It is particularly popular in the Southern region of the United States.

Origin of Church Ain’t Out ‘Til They Quit Singing

Meaning of church aint outThe etymology of this particular idiom is unclear. However, a similar idiom was first used in The Daily Picayune in 1872:

  • As long as the organ is playing, church is not out.

This usage is considered idiomatic rather than literal.

The first use of the full idiom appeared in The Fort Worth Gazette in 1874:

  • ’Church is never out till the people get through singing,’ said one of them this morning, and all of them talk as if they understood the language of this parable.

Similar idioms exist in English, notably it isn’t over until the fat lady sings and the opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

Examples of Church Ain’t Out ‘Til They Quit Singing

define church airnt outAs mentioned above, this idiom is commonly used to refer to sporting events, but it can be used in any context in which there is time remaining to do or achieve something.

This example conversation between two friends shows how this idiom is used.

Ralph: What if they don’t pick me for the job?

Vivienne: Don’t worry so much. You won’t find out for another week at least. Church ain’t out ‘til they quit singing.

Summary

The English idiom church ain’t out ‘til they quit singing means that things have not come to an end yet and there is still time to achieve something.

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