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Nice Guys Finish Last

Man and woman in position to start a track race. nice guys finish last

Nice Guys Finish Last Definition

Nice guys finish last.

  • People who are too nice, agreeable or fair may be outdone by people who are more ruthless, competitive and willing to undermine others.
  • Guys who are nice may lose romantic prospects to those who are more rude or “bad boys”

Nice Guys Finish Last Examples

  • Nice guys finish last. If you are going to get ahead in this job you need to be a cutthroat.
  • I think you’re too well mannered Joe, you smother these women with your over politeness. Remember, nice guys finish last!


Nice guys finish last, but we get to sleep in.

Evan Davis

Nice guys finish last, but in the race of life who wants to get to the finish line?

Brian J. Wimmer

Nice Guys Finish Last Origin

The nice guys are all over there, in seventh place

Leo Durocher, N.Y Journal-American, July 6, 1946

Our idiom appears to originate from the American baseball coach and manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher. Lippy, as he was sometimes known, was a very controversial and outspoken figure in the baseball world. He was also very successful, to this day, ranking 10th of all time for career wins in Major League baseball with 2,008.

Leo at the time was referencing the New York Giants, who were placed in seventh, or second-to-last, in the National League. While his original quote is not actually our idiom as we use it today. A paraphrased report of him published shortly after became what is very likely our modern version of the phrase.

Nice Guys’ Wind Up in Last Place, Scoffs Lippy

Sporting News, July 17, 1946

Originally railing against the misquotes, Leo the Lip eventually began accepting credit for the shortened version. Possibly upon noticing how popular the phrase was becoming. Durocher even went so far as to title his autobiography Nice Guys Finish last when it published in 1975.