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 Post subject: destiny and fate
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:14 am 
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"Diddled by the Dainty Digit of Destiny." and "Fixed by the Fickle Finger of Fate" **

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2002 2:23 pm 

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 8:02 am
Posts: 410
The finger of fate (without the fickle) is a centuries-old metaphor. Here’s a classic example:

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Verse LXXVI

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

More recently, the "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award" was a regular feature of the TV comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.

As to origins, my guess is that "the fickle finger of fate," is a 19th- or 20th-century gag, problably from vaudeville or old-time radio—its main charm being that it’s suggestive without actually being obscene. "Diddled by the dainty digit of destiny" is a later, and cruder, variation on the same joke, but it’s really hard to trace these things.

Did Abbott & Costello do a routine about the FF of F?

I’ve got my researchers working on it.

Mr. Fussbudget

True wit is nature to advantage dressed,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2002 5:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 3:01 pm
Posts: 1681
Here are some citings for "finger of fate," and some variations of "digit of destiny"

The Basketball Mystery (1939).
Writer: Gardner Fox. Art: Fred Guardineer. The owner of a basketball team asks Speed to figure out who is involved when crooked gamblers start putting influence on the team. This sports mystery is just plain fun.
At one point, Fox's script states that "Faro is foiled by the fickle finger of fate".
Detective Comics

"Is that his child?" said Madame Defarge, stopping in her work for the first time, and pointing her knitting-needle at little Lucie as if it were the finger of Fate.
"Yes, madame," answered Mr. Lorry; "this is our poor prisoner's darling daughter, and only child."
~ Tale of Two Cities (1859) by Charles Dickens

I was rather struck by the coincidence, having already heard it at the theatre. It seemed to me like the finger of fate. Excuse my being so superstitious.
~Virgin Soil (1877) - Turgenev
http://www.classicreader.com/booktoc.ph ... okid.1283/

I one forenoon in this last November received a turn that appeared to be given me by the finger of Fate and Conscience, hand in hand.
~ Somebody's Luggage (1894) - Charles Dickens

doodled by the digit of destiny
the dangling digit of destiny, otherwise known as the fickle finger of fate
the devious digit of destiny (otherwise known as the fickle finger of fate)
the diabolical digit of destiny

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