Read in Paul Krugman's piece in today's NYT:
"On one side, the people who sold this war, unable to face up to the fact that their fantasies of a splendid little war have led to disaster, are still peddling illusions: the insurgency is in its "last throes," says Cheney."
Is "in one's last throes" an expression of standard English? Or a conflation of "in death's throes" with "draw one's last breath" or something? (German has "in den letzten Zügen liegen", but "Zug/Züge" refers to the drawing of breath and has nothing to do with "throes").

Google has over 19,000 hits for "in its > his > her > their last throes", but if you subtract "Iraq" and "insurgency", the result falls to 613.
Chris Waigl

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Read in Paul Krugman's piece in today's NYT: "On one side, the people who sold this war, unable to face ... > his > her > their last throes", but if you subtract "Iraq" and "insurgency", the result falls to 613.

"Throes" is a plural noun which means "intense or violent pain and struggle". It seems to be found only in such expressions as "in his death throes" or "last throes", or "in the throes of" which means "struggling in the midst of".
These are commonly used in newspapers in Britain, and probably have reached cliché status. I saw a headline "Is the euro in its last throes?" in a newspaper recently, and " is in the throes of a divorce" is not unusual.

Robin
"Throes" is a plural noun which means "intense or violent pain and struggle". It seems to be found only in ... its last throes?" in a newspaper recently, and " is in the throes of a divorce" is not unusual.

Thanks. I knew the meaning and was quite familiar with "in the throes of X", but this expression somehow escaped my notice.

Chris Waigl
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"Throes" is a plural noun which means "intense or violent ... is in the throes of a divorce" is not unusual.

Thanks. I knew the meaning and was quite familiar with "in the throes of X", but this expression somehow escaped my notice.

From an American standpoint, I can say that "in its last throes" did not raise an eyebrow for me. Google or not, the phrase seems ordinary. This may represent either my Southern heritage, my long-time Midwest residence, or both.
Maria Conlon