A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 28, 2012
“I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left”

"I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many gift items, such as bumper stickers and posters. The sayin has been cited in print since the 1980s and is of unknown authorship.


Google Books
Omni
Volume 7
1985
Pg. 146:
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left. —R. E . Atkinson, Pittsburgh

18 July 1989, The Hawk Eye (IA), Bob Wilson column, pg. 3A, col. 6:
He (Bill Gullberg of Stronghurst—ed.) concludes his memories with a line that far outshines “I’ve got plenty of nothin’”: “I went through the ‘30s with nothing and still have most of it left.”

26 June 1993, Charlotte (NC) Observer, “Gardener witnesses a lot from observation post,” pg. 2C:
A sign reads: “I Started Out With Nothing and I Still Have Most of It Left.”

LinuxSA.org.au
Toby Corkindale tjcorkin at steadycom.com.au
Fri Jun 11 14:00:26 CST 1999
(...)
..I started out with nothing...and I still have most of it left

I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

Google Books
Yada, Yada, Yada.Com.Org.Edu.Gov.Email:
What I Learned on the Www/Internet

By Joan E. Miller
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc.
2000
Pg. 22:
4. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.

2 August 2000, Washington (DC) Post, “Voila! The Funniest T-Shirts of 2000” by Bob Levey, pg. C11:
Started Out with Nothing and Still Have Most of It Left--Melanie Webb, of Alexandria.

Google Books
Knotted
By Michelle Holman
Auckland, NZ: HarperCollins
2009
Pg. ?:
She wore her Coco-The-Clown pants and a T-shirt that read I Started With Nothing And Still Have Most Of It Left.

Google Books
McIntire:
Defender of Faith and Freedom

By Gladys Titzck Rhoads and Nancy Titzck Anderson
Xulon Press (xulonpress.com)
2012
Pg. 517:
He could have hung this plaque on the wall: “I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Wednesday, November 28, 2012 • Permalink