What does it mean when someone tells you “good luck with that”?
I’ve been hearing that expression used a lot lately. At first I didn’t realize it has dropped into our everyday lexicon and has become such a popular phrase. It finally registered when I heard it used by three different people in one day. This immediately made me wonder what do they mean when they say that.
It seems to be a sarcastic way of someone saying – you’re welcome to try, but I don’t think you’ll ever accomplish that. To my ear it comes off as a very smug dismissal of whatever they’re replying to.
“I’m going to try out for American Idol next year.”
“Good luck with that.”
There really isn’t any genuine heartfelt luck being offered. It’s just them sharing their perspective that you’re trying to conquer the impossible and they know it even if you don’t. Some might hear this as simply a new way of saying ‘Good Luck’ to someone, but I hear a more pompous air to the phrase.
I’m not sure when this phrase picked up momentum. Maybe there was a song that had it in the lyrics. Wherever it started and how people picked up on its usage I’ve gotten tired of hearing it.