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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2011-12-04 23:24:15

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

"last gas/guess/ghast attempt" for "last gasp attempt"

A last-gasp attempt is one you make with that final mouthful of oxygen left to you before oblivion. It’s a somewhat odd phrase, and it’s not surprising to see our lexical ingenuity at work upon it. The most popular version I could find was “last gas attempt,” which gets about twenty hits. This would appear to be an attempt you make while “running on fumes,” using up your very last drop of gas in hopes of reaching the destination. It works well, I think. Equally compelling to me – but apparently not to others – is “last guess attempt”; the reshaping sadly appears only in the instance I listed below, though there are other cases of the string out there that seem to be intentional. Examples:

The Quantum of Solace was actually part of another book, so it was a last gas attempt to use something from Ian Flemming. … James-Bond

Food trailers in Austin around 12:30 are “the” hangout place, and one can usually expect anywhere from 5-12 drunk people offering praise about the sheer perfection and awesomeness about whatever it is they are eating and making a last gas attempt to get laid. … e-old.html

The Animal had one last gas attempt at winning, but had his Batista Bomb countered by Cena who applied the STF to take it home and become the new WWE Champion … 7706732203

Now that Turkey has joined in, I might still have a fighting chance to make a last gas attempt at taking on the juggernaut alliance. … ?m=2148783

I could understand a MAF malfunction, leaking gasket, cracked tubing, loose connection or something else, but “build-up” to me sounds kind of a last guess attempt to fix something. … 32299.html

This citation is a bit too laconic for me to judge whether it represents a reshaping:

Last task attempt. Made 10Km along track. … 202006.htm

The two “last-cast attempt” citations showed up on fishing forums, and the only “last-guest” and “last-ghost” citations really do seem to be talking about ghosts and guests. And I’ve been thrawted in my attempt to explain these last two fully, though the spelling is kinda ghastly in one of them:

there are bills which act against the co-alition which stand to pass before the October elections, are we to view this call for democracy a last ghast attempt to thrawt them. … lid=140075

My guess is that these brasilian forwards are his last ghast attempt to win a SC title. … +state+cup

Okay, back to knife-sharpening.

Last edited by patschwieterman (2011-12-04 23:24:58)



#2 2011-12-05 10:19:40

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2576

Re: "last gas/guess/ghast attempt" for "last gasp attempt"

We can add to this Ken’s “last grasp” attempt: … hp?id=2499

“Last gas” is a fixed phrase for those who live on the western and northern thirds of the North American continent. There is a “last gas for 100 km” sign just up the road from me.

Thank you for not making the connection between “last gas” and flatulence.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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