"When my ship comes in” is an idiom meaning “when my fortune arrives.” People who have bad luck (and who doubt that their ship ever will come in) have added an extra ending to the saying. “With my kind of luck, when my ship comes in I’ll be at the railroad station” was cited in print in 1967. “With my luck, when my ship comes in, I’ll probably be at the airport” was cited in 1971. “With my luck, when my ship comes in I’ll be at the bus depot” was cited in 1991.
The Free Dictionary
when one’s ship comes in
Fig. when one becomes rich and successful.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
when one’s ship comes home (or in), when one comes into one’s fortune.
▸?a1513 W. Dunbar Tabill of Confessioun in Poems (1998) 273 Thou mak my schip in blissit port arrive, That saillis heir in stormes violent.
1851 H. Mayhew London Labour I. 175/1 One [customer] always says he’ll give me a ton of taties when his ship comes home.
1886 D. C. Murray Cynic Fortune xii, The wealthy relative..proposed to supply him with an income of a hundred pounds per annum until the major’s next expected ship should come in.
14 July 1967, Evening Observer (Dunkirk-Fredonia, NY), “It’s Your Town” by F. Neil Chaffie, pg. 4, col. 6:
WAY THE BALL BOUNCES—Couple discussing their trials and tribulations when one remarked, “With my kind of luck, when my ship comes in I’ll be at the railroad station.”
Google News Archive
24 December 1971, Miami (FL) News, “This was the yule that was in 1957...” by Herb Rau, pg. 10-A, col. 5:
Chap at the dog track last night lost five races in a row. Moaned: “With my luck, when my ship comes in, I’ll probably be at the airport!”
Google News Archive
16 February 1977, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, “It’s A Weird, Weird World,” pt. 1, pg. 3, col. 3:
“That’s just my luck. When my ship comes in, I’ll be at the train station.”
(Gayle Popelka, the South Miami secretary who won the birth control operation for men—ed.)
You Wanna Make Something of It?
By Tom Costa
Santa Monica, CA: Hay House
I recall seeing a greeting card once that said something like, “Just my luck, when my ship comes in, I’ll probably be at the airport.”
Beating Bully O’Brien
By Karen Mueller Coombs
New York, NY: Avon
Then she had laughed a queer little laugh and said, “With my luck, when my ship comes in I’ll be at the bus depot.”
Pushing on the Doors of Life Marked “Pull”
When My Ship Comes In, I’ll Be At The Airport.
September 27, 2007 at 1:59 pm (Unzipped Thoughts)
This was the first Email I received today:
GOOD DAY TO YOU,
GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF GOD, ...
The 45 Second Presentation that Will Change Your Life
By Don Failla
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
I’m reminded of the pessimist who flippantly quips, “With my luck, when my ship comes in, I’ll be at the bus station or the airport.”
Ouch! My Banana!!
Sunday, 27 June 2010
“I have a feeling that when my ship comes in I’ll be at the airport.”
We all complain. Everyone does it.
You know that old saying “when my ship comes in I’ll be at the airport” like that
5:47 PM - 11 Oct 12