used to denote a colloq. or slangy pron. of:.
(a) have, e.g. coulda, musta, shoulda, woulda.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 29: Passing by a bunch of big operators who have just joined the I Shoulda Club.in Zwilling|
|Dames Don’t Care (1960) 53: A pompadour that woulda made Marie Antoinette look like a big cheese.|
|Neon Wilderness (1986) 44: You shoulda seen him when the coppers bust it [i.e. a fight] up.|
|West Side Story I i: You shoulda done worse.|
|Gone Fishin’ 183: Coulda bowled me over with a feather when I seen ’im haulin’ ’em in.|
|Carlito’s Way 76: If it was up to me they coulda buried you.|
|Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 115: I shoulda put Boy George between those two gender benders.|
|(con. 1949) Big Blowdown (1999) 248: You had me dead to rights, right up on me. You coulda beat the hell out of me.|
|Layer Cake 176: He woulda been after your little ring-piece if he was still around.|
(b) to, e.g. gonna, gotta, oughta, wanna.
|🎵 How ’ya gonna keep them away from Broadway, / Jazzin’ around, / And paintin’ the town?‘How Ya Gonna Keep ’Em Down on the Farm?’|
|Fighting Blood 64: I’m gonna slap you for a Chinese ash can and send you back to that slab in Jersey on a shutter!|
|Brighton Rock (1943) 163: It oughta be on me [...] But I’m cleaned out.|
|🎵 If someone say ‘for the duration’ Brother, I’m gonna blow my fuse.‘Reconversion Blues’|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 200: I never figured on getting hooked all the way. I was only gonna play it for a Pepsi-Cola kick.|
|Semi-Tough 167: [He] is gonna get himself ass-deep in so much young Scotch that this palatial suite of ours better be able to float.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 66: Some Bureau guys are gonna burn in this thing and you’re gonna have to work with friends of theirs.|
|🌐 Clockin grips is cool... you oughta try it Josh, wuss.homepage|
(c) of, e.g. cuppa n., lotsa n., lotta n.
(US) phr. indicating regret for what might have happened/been done, but never was.
|Studies in Linguistics Supp. 42: The perfect coulda shoulda woulda mighta.|
|Forbes 141 116: Yet nearly all bettors think they ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’ come out ahead—if only.|
|Frontline 11 93: ‘I should have kicked the extra point, but coulda, shoulda, woulda doesn't do it’.|
|Not My father’s Footsteps [ebook] [We] need to move on—no looking back, no regrets about coulda, shoulda, woulda.|
|? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] Coulda, shoulda, woulda dominated his thoughts.|