Miracles will never cease?
December 11, 2009 1:14 AM   Subscribe

What's the origin of the phrase: "Miracles will never cease."

I used the phrase "Miracles will never cease" and a colleague pondered the origin of this idiom.

Google throws up a lot of instances, but I can't find an origin. I believe the original phrase may have been "Wonders will never cease," so "Miracles..." may be a corruption of that.

Grateful if anyone could give a definitive answer...
posted by Blackwatch to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If somebody has an American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, you might be able to make some headway on the origin of "wonders will never cease." Google books shows a preview of page 109, referencing 'cease' as in "wonders will never cease" but the preview for that reference is unavailable. From the google search, it seems that phrase originated in the 1700's.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:26 AM on December 11, 2009


It's definitely "Will wonders never cease?", and usually used sarcastically. (Like yesterday, that horrible child of ours actually did his homework before I had to nag him and he went to bed on time.)

(I can't find an origin, either. But if it helps in searching, I'd never heard "miracles" used until this questions, so "wonders" should be your go-to Google word.)
posted by rokusan at 1:48 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


This Answers.com thing may come in handy. Earliest reference is 1776.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 2:26 AM on December 11, 2009


"It's definitely "Will wonders never cease?", and usually used sarcastically."

Wouldn't it be 'Will wonders ever cease'?

Will wonders never cease? - to me means....these wonders! will they ever stop stopping?

Will wonders ever cease? - to me means....these wonders! will they ever stop?
posted by ian1977 at 6:38 AM on December 11, 2009


Will wonders never cease? - to me means....these wonders! will they ever stop stopping?

Will wonders ever cease? - to me means....these wonders! will they ever stop?


Nah, they really ask the same question, but in a positive and negative form:

Will they? Or won't they?

Cease--that is. I mean the wonders.
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posted by General Tonic at 6:49 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nah, they really ask the same question, but in a positive and negative form:

When you phrase it that way it makes sense.


Will blunders ever cease? :-P
posted by ian1977 at 7:23 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


It looks like it's referenced as the title of another work, in this book from 1745.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:25 AM on December 11, 2009


I'm most familiar with "Will wonders ever cease?" (question) and, less frequently, "Well, wonders never cease." Both used (generally) in a sarcastic manner (the latter in a far drier fashion than the former). I'm afraid I don't know the origin of either phrasing.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 5:50 PM on December 11, 2009


Totally off topic, Morcheeba does a great tune, Wonders never cease.
posted by gypseefire at 7:12 AM on December 13, 2009


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