Word of the Day Archive
Sunday October 1, 2006
swan song \SWAHN-SONG\ , noun:
1. A beautiful legendary song said to be sung by a dying swan.
2. A final or farewell appearance, action, or pronouncement.
As one of the playwright's biographers put it, Schnitzler sang "the swan song of old Vienna" and "caught in his gentle hand the last golden glow of its setting glory and converted it into art."
-- Arthur Lennig, Stroheim
Opposition leaders dismissed the Chancellor's speech as the swan song of a leader who has, after 16 years in office, overstayed his welcome with the electorate.
-- "Kohl predicts victory despite polls", Irish Times, May 19, 1998
Swan song is from the belief that the swan sings as it dies.