If you thought that, you've got another think (or thing) coming
A couple of definitions
- if they think I’m going to do physical jerks, they’ve got another think coming
- If you think I'm going to pay all your bills you've got another think coming
A little history
See Google Books - "have another thing coming" 1880-1910
- If you think the life of a movie star is all sunshine and flowers you've got another thing coming.
- Several different statements used for the same idea -- that of some one's making a mistake...[e.g.] you have another think coming.
- "Conroy lives in Troy and thinks he is a coming fighter. This gentleman has another think coming. It is probable that McCoy will next meet Joe Choynski."
- Having elected him republicans think they have some voice in the distribution of the spoils and there is where they have another think coming to them
[The Daily Argos News 1897]
- Those who thought taxes high in the past will have another think coming in the future.
[Clinton Mirror 1907]
- If this Good Will Campaign is not a close race then you have another think coming.
[Steuben Farmer's Advocate 1925]
- May be you think your factory is not a school. If you do, you've got another think coming.
The Package, 1906 - [Google Books]
- If you think it's easy to grab off a ten every day in the week, you've got another think coming
Everybody's Magazine - Volume 14 - 1906 [Google Books]
- If this company thinks I'm going to lie down and swallow this loss they've got another think coming
The Saturday Evening Post - 1909 [Google Books]
- If you think I'm a negro delegate, you've got another think coming
The Prodigious Hickey: A Lawrenceville Story, by Owen Johnson, 1910 - [Google Books]
- So sure as he is working here as assistant cutter," Polatkin continued. "And if you think that this here feller Borrochson comes to work in our place, Scheikowitz, you've got another think coming, and that's all I got to say
Elkan Lubliner, American, by Montague Glass, 1912
Archive.org - Project Gutenberg
- You've got another think coming, if you think I'm an exile!
The American Magazine Volume 86, 1918 Google Books
- 'Jackson thinks he has me in a pinch and that I will have to sell. Well he has another "think" coming."
A Deal In Ducks by Guy L Clements 1921 [Archive.org].
- If you think that the millions of American voters in this country thought that they were giving you a mandate to keep them paying their taxes, and relieve these abnormal fortunes of their taxes, you have got another think coming to you
United States Congress, 1921 - Google Books
- And if you think the women of Palestine are any better than the flute-players of this town, you got another think coming — see?
Moses, a Novel, by Louis Untermayer, 1928 - Google Books
Two thinks without if
- This is from Miss Buzby's Boarders, Published 1899, in the same volume as The Fruit of His Folly, by Arthur Lewis Tubbs (1894) [Google Books]
- One would think so clumsy a scheme could not be successful, but the fact that the same plan, with very little variation, has been used by swindlers for years, in almost every state of the Union, shows that anyone thinking so "has another think coming"
The American Soap Journal and Manufacturing Chemist 1900 [Google Books]
(The fact that the writer has put another think coming into quote marks, suggests that he might be referring to a new or fashionable expression)
- Mr Dickerson thought to force it, but he had another think coming a moment later, for the tuna is not built that way.
The American Rifleman Vol 30 1901 [Google Books]
- Skidmore Tyres had another think coming when the brakeman signalled him to back-tip. but he didn't wait for it: that think that wasn't thought may cost him his job.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen's Magazine, 1906 [Google Books]
Update - another guess coming
- If you think I never ponder over the work you have done and are still doing for the protection of the furred and feathered people, you have another guess coming.
Shields' Magazine - Volumes 2-3 - 1906 [Google Books]
- If you don't believe there are such union men, then you have another guess coming.
Trans-communicator - Volume 24 - 1907 [Google Books]
- Mr. Pagan — I wish your guess was right, but you have another guess coming.
The Inland Printer - Volume 27 - 1901 - [Google Books]
- I think you have another guess coming, Mr. Stuart
The Railroad Trainman - Volume 19 - 1902 [Google Books]
- In the language of the man in the street Mr. Gage "has another guess coming."
The Public: A Journal of Democracy, Volume 7 1904 [Google Books]
(Interesting reference to "the language of the man in the street")
Afterthought - single think
Credit where credit's due
Conclusions so far
- Up to now I've found no examples of got / have another thing coming (in this sense) at Google Books in the period 1800 - 1830, so I think we can assume that this was definitely a later variation.
- If 'think' has any early competitor, it is 'guess' (from at least 1901) rather than 'thing'.
- It seems me to that the 'If you think' type expressions grew out of earlier expressions with a double think, but no if.
- We can trace 'If you think ... think' constructions at least back to 1906, and double 'think' constructions to about 1897
- From quite early on, the 'got / have another think coming' part seems to have been used without any preceding 'think', which suggests that this expression was quite well known by this time.
- The story's not over yet. There are some interesting peaks in these graphs to be investigated, for example.
Google Book Search
- "got another think coming"
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- "got another guess coming"
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- No results for "got another thing coming"
- No real results for "have another thing coming"
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