I have a question about the usage of "go down in history":

His heroics will go down in history as ....
His heroics will go down in history.

Does "go down in history" have be followed by some sort of "as...." clause? Is sentence 2 poor usage of "go down in history"?

  • 2
    = He will become legendary. Either way, with/without 'as' is idiomatic.
    – TimR
    Mar 12, 2015 at 22:07
  • 4
    and they shouted out with glee, "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!"
    – J.R.
    Mar 12, 2015 at 22:50

2 Answers 2


The "as" clause is not necessary unless you want to specify WHY he will go down in history. For example: His heroics will go down in history. (his heroics will be remembered) His heroics will go down in history because he won the war. (his heroics will be remembered BECAUSE he won the war, etc.)


go down in history is an idiomatic expression, so any clause can be used after it. I found some examples of using it with the "as-clause" in the BNC (British National Corpus), so, it is correct and completely acceptable:

Or shall I go down in history as the High Queen who lost Tara for always?

She could go down in history as the leader who pulled us back from the brink.

Actually, I found out that it is more often to use the expression with "as-clause" than without it, since *go down in history as" is very often used to say how that person went down in history.

The examples of the usage without "as-clause" are the following:

It was a name that would go down in history.

She has gone down in history with this quote when she spotted.

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