if you’re born to be hanged then you’ll never be drowned

Commonly used to qualify another’s apparent good luck. Cf. mid 14th-cent. Fr. noyer ne peut, cil qui doit pendre, he cannot drown who must hang; c 1503 A. BARCLAY tr. Gringore’s Castle of Labour (1506) A8 He that is drowned may no man hange.

1593 J. ELIOT Ortho-Epia Gallica 127 He thats borne to be hangd shall neuer be drownde.

1723 DEFOE Colonel Jack (ed. 2) 126 He had a Proverb in his Favour, and he got out of the Water..not being born to be drown’d, as I shall observe afterwards in its place.

1956 H. LEWIS Witch & Priest v. There is another picture, and underneath it says..If you’re born to be hanged, then you’ll never be drowned.

1986 M. SLUNG More Momilies 16 If you’re born to hang, you won’t drown.

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