My wife is going to get her first tattoo and she chose a phrase in English. As English is not our first language, I would like to double-check if this sentence has any bad connotation. I did some research on the internet and I didn't find any problem so far.

This is the sentence:

Against the odds.

Any bad connotation or something to know about?

  • Just a suggestion: "against all odds" – Centaurus Jan 10 '20 at 14:31
  • Hey @Centaurus, do you have any reason for that? I'm just curious and wondering if the phrase is grammatically wrong or something. – Pankwood Jan 10 '20 at 14:34
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    FYI: "Against All Odds" is a 1984 American romantic neo-noir thriller film directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges and James Woods alongside Jane Greer, Alex Karras, Richard Widmark and Dorian Harewood.a film title. Is your wife a fan of Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward? Oh, have you thought of capitalizing the word Odds? I think it would look better than odds (in a tattoo). – rhetorician Jan 10 '20 at 16:01
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    Against all odds is obviously stronger than against the odds. The odds for what, in that second case....? – Lambie Jan 10 '20 at 18:40
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    @rhetorician ... don't forget the schmaltzy theme song from Phil Collins. Ironically, the lyrics contain the words "against the odds". – jimm101 Jan 10 '20 at 19:16

"Against the odds" means "despite being very likely to fail." It usually implies a situation that's unfavorable to you, like a horse that's "running against the odds."

As mentioned in the comments, "Against all odds" is somewhat more common, and implies a more general likelihood of failure. But in a tattoo without any other context, the meaning would be understood in either case.

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