Shakespeare in anticipation

shakespeareNext week (23 April) will be the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – and also his 452nd birthday. There are gazillions of posts and websites etc about him of course, and it’s a bit ridiculous to add to the plethora with this blog post, but well, why not? Here is a list of just some of the commonly used phrases that came to us through his plays (with thanks to those who compiled them):

  • “For goodness sake” – Henry VIII
  • “Neither here not there” – Othello
  • “Mum’s the word” – Henry VI, Part II
  • “Eaten out of house and home” – Henry IV, Part II
  • “Knock knock! Who’s there?” – Macbeth
  • “All’s well that ends well” – All’s Well That Ends Well
  • “With bated breath” – The Merchant of Venice
  • “A wild goose chase” – Romeo and Juliet
  • “Too much of a good thing” – As You Like It
  • “A heart of gold” – Henry V
  • “Such stuff as dreams are made on” – The Tempest
  • “What the dickens” – The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • “Puking” – As You Like It
  • “Lie low” – Much Ado About Nothing
  • “Dead as a doornail” – Henry VI, Part II
  • “Not slept one wink” – Cymbeline
  • “Foregone conclusion” – Othello
  • “The world’s mine oyster” – The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • “Bedazzled” – The Taming of the Shrew
  • “In stitches” – Twelfth Night
  • “Naked truth” – Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • “Faint-hearted” – Henry VI, Part I
  • “Send him packing” – Henry IV
  • “Vanish into thin air” – Othello
  • “Own flesh and blood” – Hamlet
  • “Truth will out” – The Merchant of Venice
  • “Give the devil his due” – Henry IV, Part I
  • “There’s method in my madness” – Hamlet
  • “Wear your heart on your sleeve” – Othello
  • “Spotless reputation” – Richard II
  • “Full circle” – King Lear
  • “There’s the rub” – Hamlet
  • “All of a sudden” – The Taming of the Shrew
  • “Cold comfort” – The Taming of the Shrew/King John
  • “Brevity is the soul of wit” – Hamlet
  • “Dead as a doornail” – Henry VI Part II
  • “Forever and a day” – As You Like It
  • “Jealousy is the green-eyed monster” – Othello
  • “Good riddance” – Troilus and Cressida
  • “In my heart of hearts” – Hamlet
  • “In my mind’s eye” – Hamlet


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.