Another Think Coming

Meaning of “Another Think Coming”

The phrase “another think coming” means to think over something again, or to be mistaken and need to rethink some decision that a person has determined to make. The phrase is often used as a taunt and sometimes with the removal of /k/ sound with /g/ as “another thing coming”. In colloquial American English, it is written as “another think a-comin’.”

Origin of “Another Think Coming”

It is stated that its earliest use in these spellings appeared in The Syracuse Herald, an American newspaper, in its August 1919 publication, where it has been used about the life of movie stars. However, it has been used as “another thing coming” instead of “another think coming.”

David Marsh who writes in “Mind Your Language” for The Guardian, referring to The Syracuse Standard to have used the phrase as “another think coming” but in its publication of 1898. In his article, he states that all lexicographers agree on this use of the phrase and that it is correct usage.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Another Think Coming by Pam Brown

Sorry no –
I’m reviewing a few
windows of opportunity
from my workstation desktop,
on the actual desk –
the pale golden color
of white ginseng
steaming in a china cup
perched on a silvery
compact-disc coaster,
screwed-up pages, red ball-point,
small black radio emitting news –
political party supporters’ dreams
weakened by boom time fluctuations
like comets in a spint

were ‘we’
not to apply
serious scholarship
to metro profit margins’
most pressing questions –
‘we’ might find ‘we’
another think coming.

This is a section from the poem “Another Think Coming”. Here the poet describes his environment at the time when he writes. He also states his political views and thinks that new things such as metros need serious academic attention. Otherwise, people have other questions that he shows through the use of this phrase “another think coming” in the last verse of the poem. It almost means the same thing that is that we are sometimes deluded and needed a rethinking of ideas.

Example #2

The Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum, VIII by Wallace Irwin

I sometimes think that I am not so good,
That there are foxier, warmer babes than I,
That Fate has given me the calm go-by
And my long suit is sawing mother’s wood.
Then would I duck from under if I could,
Catch the hog special on the jump, and fly
To some Goat Island planned by destiny
For dubs and has-beens and that solemn brood.
But spite of bug-wheels in my cocoa tree,
The trade in lager beer is still a-humming,
A schooner can be purchased for a V
Or even grafted if you’re fierce at bumming.
My finish then less clearly do I see,
For lo! I have another think a-coming.

This sonnet states the situation of a girl who thinks that others are better than her. However, she listens to her mother’s words asking her to play and meditate. Even though she has no tricks of the trade, she can see that she has something else to think. The phrase is used in the last verse, “I have another think a-coming”. It shows that she is working on another idea.

Example #3

The Fields by Conrad Richter

“But if she figured she could break him, she had another think a coming. Oh, he wouldn’t let on to her one more lick about the big hunt if he could help it. Let her reckon he was a going to work at the Covenhovens tomorrow. Let Big John think so too, if he wanted. When Sayward turned her back, he took his rifle out to his shanty.”

The Fields, by Conrad Richter, is the story of Portius and Sayward Luckett Wheeler set in Ross in Ohio. This paragraph tells how Sayward looks at the Big John when he takes out the rifle for hunting. However, she misleads him from this adventure. The phrase has been used in a rude sense that she can force him to rethink about it.

Example #4

The Blue Flowers by Raymond Queneau

‘Here we go! a sex-maniac! That’s another thing they all told me. Everything Frenchman…’
‘Mademoiselle …please believe me…’
‘If you think, Monsieur, that you are likely to attain your blagatory and lubricious ends by proferring philanderous utterances designed to lure me into your perverse lair, me, a poor defenseless bird, a poor Wyandotte, even, you’ve got another think coming, Monsieur, you’ve got another think coming!’

The English version was translated by Barbara Wright. The Blue Flowers presents the characters of the Duke of Auge and Cidrolin, who dream of living each other’s lives. In this paragraph, Cidrolin and Canadian Wyandotte are talking to each other. She believes that Cidrolin is luring Wyandotte. She refuses to listen and asks if he is misleading her. She also believes his planning something else and uses the phrase twice to emphasize the same as a warning.

Examples in Sentence

Example #1: “Those who thought taxes high in the past will have another think coming in the future. – Clinton Mirror (1907).”

Example #2: “When he is sitting alone, he remembers the accident. It is another think coming to him which might make him furious.”

Example #3: “Look at Ashley, she just answered the last quiz, and now she has another think coming. We need her in our team.”

Example #4: “Don’t misunderstand my words. Listen carefully as I repeat or do you have another think coming?”

Example #5: “Next month, the committee is expecting us to organize the charity dinner and invite the local celebrities. I got a few ideas from but does anyone have another think coming. Perhaps something better?”