I remember hearing the topic title in a rap song (can’t remember which, can be Eminem), and also tbelow seem to be movies named after this pattern: Two For the Money with Al Pacino and One For the Money, an upcoming comedy.

You are watching: One for the money two for the show

Urban Dictionary does not seem to know this expression, neither does dict.cc provide a proper translation.

What does it intend and wright here does it come from?



My impression is that

One for the money. Two for the display. Three to make all set. And four to go.

(or "three to acquire ready" in contemporary derekwadsworth.com) is somepoint that children say once they begin a race (the running starting on "go"). Anymeans, it"s appears in this 1872 book, (it"s not a race right here, yet FumbleFingers has found another 1872 citation where it is supplied for a race).

I would certainly assume that "the money" describes the prize for winning, and "the show" to the spectacle of the race. Generally, a children"s race will not have actually either of these (unprefer, say a experienced horse race), however it doesn"t hurt to pretfinish.


I first heard it in Blue Suede Shoes written by Carl Perkins in 1955 (years prior to Eminem was also born), and popularised by Elvis Presley a year later. But all credit to
Peter Shor for pointing out that it was approximately an extremely lengthy time before that. I discovered a different circumstances to Peter, however they"re both from 1872.

Possibly it"s an allusion to the principle that the performer makes one (the first) initiative because he"s acquiring paid for it, and two (the second) bereason he simply likes percreating. Or possibly it"s one for the performer"s money, and also two for the share going to the venue. After that it"s just counting in to the start of the primary activity.

It was initially 3 to make ready, however that sounds a bit dated to our ears. Today it"s invariably 3 to acquire ready other than for the title of an episode in the 60s TV series My Favorite Martian.



The The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes and The Phrase Finder cite a equine race poem that is likely the resource of the expression. In horse racing, the winners are termed:


The omission of "place" is provided in The Phrase Finder. This is likely poetic license, to make a short rhyme, provided to start a race or occasion.

Exerpt from The Phrase Finder post:

In "The Annotated Mvarious other Goose" p 259 the complying with rhyme is included:

One to make ready

And 2 to prepare

good luck to the rider

And away goes the mare.

In ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, Elvis Presley sang:

Well, it"s one for the money, / Two for the present, / Three to get prepared, / Now go, cat, go.

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I’m not certain it suggests extremely much at all.

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