Finagle's Law


      • unexpected problems or complications
        Refer to the tendency for things to go wrong or become more complicated than expected, often resulting in delays or setbacks in achieving a goal or completing a task

      • trickery or deceit
        Describe someone's use of cunning or manipulation to achieve their own goals or gain an advantage over others

      • luck or chance
        Refer to a situation or outcome that is influenced by luck or chance, rather than being planned or controlled by someone

    Examples of Finagle's Law

    • She finagled her way into the board meeting by posing as a secretary and slipping into the conference room undetected.

      Finagle's Law, also known as Murphy's Law in reverse, suggests that things will go in your favor if you are resourceful and clever enough to outsmart situations. In this example, the woman used her wit and cunning to gain unauthorized access to the important meeting, demonstrating the power of Finagle's Law.

    • Despite the rain, we were able to finagle a last-minute beach party by setting up our tents and hammocks beneath a sturdy tree and building a bonfire to keep warm.

      In this instance, Finagle's Law comes into play when unexpected circumstances arise, and the ingenuity of the individuals involved can make all the difference in achieving their desired outcome. Here, the group's resourcefulness and problem-solving abilities allowed them to overcome the challenges posed by the rain and enjoy their planned beach party.

    • The detective finagled a confession out of the suspect by appealing to his conscience and offering him a deal in exchange for his cooperation.

      Finagle's Law can also be seen in action when individuals use their intelligence and intuition to influence others or extract information from them. In this example, the detective employed his persuasion skills and strategic thinking to secure the information he needed, utilizing Finagle's Law to overcome the obstacles of the case.

    • The artist finagled his way into the prestigious gallery by entering a small piece in a local competition and catching the attention of a prominent collector.

      Another example of Finagle's Law in action involves using circumstance and opportunity to one's advantage. In this scenario, the artist utilized a small competition as a springboard to showcase his work and attract the attention of a well-connected member of the art world, which ultimately led to his success in the gallery scene.

    • The company's vice president, known for his cunning and ability to manipulate situations to his advantage, finagled his way out of a serious disciplinary action.

      Finagle's Law is a colloquial term that describes how everything seems to work against someone, no matter how hard they try to make it work in their favor. This vice president, however, was able to circumvent this law and use his skills to turn the situation to his advantage, demonstrating that sometimes, even in the face of adversity, it's possible to come out on top.

    • Despite my best efforts to make it to the airport on time, traffic jams and cancellations finagled their way into my travel plans, delaying my flight by several hours.

      In this example, Finagle's Law is a negative force that seems to conspire against the speaker, causing countless obstacles that seem to grow more formidable with each passing moment. The speaker tries their best to navigate these challenges, but they ultimately fall prey to the law, becoming its victim.

    • The team's star player, plagued by injuries throughout the season, finagled a way to recover in time for the playoffs, leading his team to victory.

      Here, Finagle's Law takes on a new meaning, representing the struggles and setbacks that can afflict anyone, particularly athletes. In this case, the player uses his wit and skill to overcome these adversities and achieve success, showing that sometimes, it's possible to bend the rule to your advantage.

    • The sales team's quota was seemingly impossible to reach, but thanks to some clever negotiation and creative thinking, they managed to finagle their way to surpassing it.

      This example highlights the idea that Finagle's Law can be combated and sidestepped through creativity and resourcefulness. The sales team's success is a result of their innovative thinking and out-of-the-box approaches, demonstrating that sometimes, it's possible to turn the odds in your favor.


    The idiom "Finagle's Law" is often used to describe unexpected problems or complications that arise in a situation. It can also refer to the use of trickery or deceit to achieve one's goals, as well as events that are influenced by luck or chance. Overall, the idiom conveys a sense of uncertainty and unpredictability.

    Origin of "Finagle's Law"

    The origin of the idiom "Finagle's Law" is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the 20th century. Some sources attribute it to a man named Finagle who was known for his ability to manipulate and deceive, while others suggest it comes from the Yiddish word "feygele," meaning "little bird" and often used to describe someone who is cunning or sly.

    The idiom gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in the field of computer science, where it was used to describe the unexpected problems and complications that often arose in programming and technology. Over time, it has become a widely used phrase in everyday language to describe any situation that is marked by uncertainty or a lack of control.

    Overall, the idiom "Finagle's Law" has evolved to encompass a range of meanings, all centered around the idea of unexpectedness and uncertainty. It continues to be a popular phrase and is often used in both serious and humorous contexts.