The latest round of draft entries for the New Edition of the OED has been released online, and one of the additions is our old friend "another thing coming":
(Under , n.1)
chiefly Brit. and Irish English. (arising from misapprehension of s.v. THINK n. 2b) = s.v. THINK n. 2b.
1981 J. SULLIVAN Only Fools & Horses (1999) I. 1st Ser.Episode 1. 57 Del. If you think I'm staying in a lead-lined nissan hut with you and Grandad and a chemical bloody khazi you've got another thing coming. 1994 I. BOTHAM My Autobiogr. i. 23 After their conversation with Ted they knew they had another thing coming. 1998 A. O'HANLON Talk of Town (1999) I. iv. 60 If you think you're getting into my knickers, you have another thing coming.
I was surprised that they marked it as "chiefly Brit. and Irish English", considering Areff's survey results from 1999:

http://groups.google.com/groups?th=822554d5793b8e2a

By country: think thing knows "something else coming"
US 22 17 7 Canada 5 2
UK 17 7 4 Ireland 1
Australia 3 3
OED seems to suggest that "another thing..." began its life as a Rightpondian variant of the Leftpondian "another think..." and then spread from there. But as Areff has noted, Proquest has cites for "another thing..." in the New York Times and Washington Post back to
1971 (). That's afull decade earlier than the first OED cite, apparently taken from the script for an episode of the BBC comedy "Only Fools and Horses" in its first season (1981). (Only a year later, Birmingham beat combo Judas Priest would popularize the "thing" variant on both sides of the Atlantic with their ditty, "You've Got Another Thing Comin'".)

A search on Amazon finds even earlier US citations. Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , first published in 1962, has this:

"All right, by God, let's just figure out what I'd have to toss through that screen to bust out. And if you birds don't think I'd do it if I ever got the urge, then you got another thing coming."
(p. 108 of the 2002 Viking Penguin edition)

Also, the American playwright Robert Ludlam wrote the following in his
1970 play "Bluebeard":

If you ladies think he can marry the whole female sex, you've got another thing coming.
(pp. 258-9 of The Mystery of Irma Vep and Other Plays )
But even earlier is a citation from Final Curtain (first published in
1947) by New Zealand-born Dame Ngaio Marsh:

"If you think I'm going to hang round here like a bloody extra with your family handing me out the bird in fourteen different positions you've got another thing coming." (p. 44 of the 1998 St. Martin's Paperbacks edition)
Marsh split her time between New Zealand and England, and Final Curtain (like many of her novels) is set in England. So perhaps "another thing..." did emerge in the UK first. Still, I think it's misleading to mark it as "chiefly Brit. and Irish English". Paging Dr. Sheidlower...
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Also, the American playwright Robert Ludlam wrote the following in his 1970 play "Bluebeard": If you ladies think he can marry the whole female sex, you've got another thing coming. (pp. 258-9 of The Mystery of Irma Vep and Other Plays )

Sorry, Charles* Ludlam, not to be confused with Robert *Ludlum...
A search on Amazon finds even earlier US citations. Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , first ... I ever got the urge, then you got another thing coming." (p. 108 of the 2002 Viking Penguin edition)

So even now that they've got all these tools available to them, it takes an amateur a few minutes to antedate them by 19 years. I'm disappointed.

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A search on Amazon finds even earlier US citations. Ken ... coming." (p. 108 of the 2002 Viking Penguin edition)

So even now that they've got all these tools available to them, it takes an amateur a few minutes to antedate them by 19 years. I'm disappointed.

But are you surprised? Lookit how they fail to acknowledge The Fonzie Thesis(TM) in their entry for "cool". Oy!
A search on Amazon finds even earlier US citations. Ken ... coming." (p. 108 of the 2002 Viking Penguin edition)

So even now that they've got all these tools available to them, it takes an amateur a few minutes to antedate them by 19 years. I'm disappointed.

I believe Ben forfeited his amateur status when he accepted the AUE Cup for his smashing victory in the last Summer Doldrums Competition. If not ... well, he should.

Bob Lieblich
Definitely an amateur. Definitely
A search on Amazon finds even earlier US citations. Ken ... coming." (p. 108 of the 2002 Viking Penguin edition)

So even now that they've got all these tools available to them, it takes an amateur a few minutes to antedate them by 19 years. I'm disappointed.

Actually more like 34 years, if that Ngaio Marsh citation holds up. (Is it possible that the 1947 edition of Torn Curtain had "another think coming" and this was changed to "thing" in a later edition?) In any case, it's the "amateurs" who are often responsible for tracking down the antedatings, as they acknowledge every month in their Appeals List:

http://www.oed.com/newsletters/2004-06/appeals.html Words or phrases which appear on the Appeals List are those currently being drafted or revised for the OED for which the documentary evidence is incomplete. Often these are slang or colloquial items which cannot be researched in specialist texts and are most likely to be found by a general reader in non-specialized or popular literature.
They do note that "it is generally safe to assume that examples found by searching the Web, using search engines such as Google, will have already been considered by OED editors." But Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature is new enough to turn up plenty of antedatings missed by the editors. (Now if Amazon would only fine-tune the search algorithm...)
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But even earlier is a citation from Final Curtain (first published in 1947) by New Zealand-born Dame Ngaio ... bird in fourteen different positions you've got another thing coming." (p. 44 of the 1998 St. Martin's Paperbacks edition)

I will check this with my edition, but I'd be very surprised if Marsh wrote that. I think it's been put in by an editor for the St Martin's edition.

I used to read and reread those books, and "another thing coming" would have leapt off the page at me.
Possibly some of the other citations are also later editorial "corrections". But I agree that it seems very odd to cite the phrase as "chiefly UK". I had never heard of it till I saw it on this newsgroup, and then I believe all the proponents were Leftpondian. Perhaps someone should tell the OED.

Katy
But even earlier is a citation from Final Curtain ... (p. 44 of the 1998 St. Martin's Paperbacks edition)

I will check this with my edition, but I'd be very surprised if Marsh wrote that. I think it's been ... I used to read and reread those books, and "another thing coming" would have leapt off the page at me.

Taking time I haven't got to spare off from compiling exam marks, I observe that on p51 of my 1978 reprint of the Penguin Crime
1958 edition it says quite clearly 'you've got another thinkcoming'. Looks like you are right, Katy.
Mike Page
The latest round of draft entries for the New Edition of the OED has been released online, and one of the additions is our old friend "another thing coming":

OED seems to suggest that "another thing..." began its life as a Rightpondian variant of the Leftpondian "another think..." and ... taken from the script for an episode of the BBC comedy "Only Fools and Horses" in its first season (1981).

The N.Y. Times cite has already been added to the entry, but unfortunately it was discovered (i.e. by us, not by R.F.) too late for inclusion in the initial release of this entry.
A search on Amazon finds even earlier US citations. Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , first ... if I ever got the urge, then you got another thing coming." (p. 108 of the 2002 Viking Penguin edition)

Thanks, I'll be getting this checked. But as has been observed elsewhere in this thread, care is needed to ensure that you're not getting snookered by a later editorial change.
Still, I think it's misleading to mark it as "chiefly Brit. and Irish English". Paging Dr. Sheidlower...

It's Mr. Sheidlower, but I do agree that this label is incorrect. Ironically it's the label itself that probably prevented me from looking at it.
Jesse Sheidlower
Oxford English Dictionary
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