Whenever I think I have seen and read it all, they proof me wrong and post another
stupid highly questionable prompt. It was pretty lame to begin with and won’t get any better with this rerun either. Maybe the third time posting it will be a charm????
Do I want to write a fictional story about it? Nope, absolutely not! Why write a fictional story about a phrase origins, when the real one is so much better?
The American phrase “Third time’s a charm” or the original, British version “The third time is lucky”…where does that come from?
Why do we belief that we will get lucky with the third attempt? What makes us think we will succeed and will be better, than in the two previous attempts?
I researched it a little bit and voila, Mr. Google and Mrs. Wikipidea helped -as so often- and what I found, was rather interesting:
Under English law, anyone who survived three attempts at hanging would be set free. This is probably from the story of John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee. Lee was a West Country sailor who was convicted of the murder of Emma Keyse at Babbacombe Bay in 1885. He was sentenced to hang at Exeter prison and three attempts to execute him all failed. The Home Secretary of the time, Sir William Harcourt, commuted the sentence to life imprisonment and Lee was later freed. He was known thereafter as ‘the man they couldn’t hang’ and went on to live a long life, dying sometime in the 1940s. Fascinating story though it is, the use of ‘third time lucky’ predates it and thus it can’t be the origin. Nor is any earlier reference to the supposed English law on freeing those who survived three hanging attempts. This legal ruling never existed in any general sense and is restricted to isolated cases like Lee’s.
I liked that~!
Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”