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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1817
AUTHOR: Daniel John Cook (1926–)
QUOTATION: The opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
ATTRIBUTION: DAN COOK, sports broadcaster and writer for the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News, on television newscast in April 1978, after the first basketball playoff game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Washington Bullets, to illustrate that while the Spurs had won once, the series was not over yet. Bullets coach Dick Motta borrowed the phrase later during the Bullets’ eventually successful championship drive, and it became widely known and was often mistakenly attributed to him.—The Washington Post, June 11, 1978, p. D6. Cook may well have said isn’t, but this remark is generally heard with ain’t.