Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
If you think __, you’ve got another thing coming.
I’m not aware of “think” being used as a noun in this sense. A “think” is a period of solitary contemplation, but not an idea or a sudden opinion.
“Another thing coming” is commonly used without any reference to “think” and “if”. This idiom indicates a surprise or sometimes retribution. It seems to me that this is what Judas Priest is saying. “Comin’ for you” doesn’t quite fit the “another think coming” idiom. I haven’t yet heard anyone explain how “another think coming” could have come to mean a nasty surprise, as “another thing coming” is most commonly used to mean.
I’m told that “another think coming” derived from “another guess coming” (meaning “guess again”) and I can believe this. It’s easy to imagine how “another guess coming” might have turned into “another think coming”—especially if influenced by “another thing.”
To sort this out, I need to have a semantic question answered. When people say “If you think this, you’ve got another thing coming,” how often does it mean, “You may face surprising or unpleasant consequences because of your confused point of view”, and how often does it mean, “You are going to have a sudden change of opinion”? If the former meaning is common, it is nothing more consequential than a mixed idiom; and in that case, the latter could just be a confusion between two idioms.
Last edited by Rick Aster (2006-05-12 13:03:43)