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10 phrases coined by Shakespeare


There aren't many writers who can add the skill "coining a phrase" to their résumé. But then Shakespeare belongs in a special, gold-encrusted league of his own.

Check out 10 sayings that the great man created all by himself and then bow down.

1. Discretion is the better part of valour

A version of the words uttered by Falstaff in Henry IV, Part I.

2. All that glitters is not gold

We can thank the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant Of Venice for this, though the original word used was ‘glisters’.

3. The beast with two backs

Iago gives us this saucy phrase as he gets irritated by inter-racial love in Othello.

4. It was Greek to me

Roman Casca indulges in some petty nationalism in Julius Caesar.

5. Eaten out of house and home

A gluttonous accusation from Mistress Quickly in Henry IV Part II.

6. I have not slept one wink

Pisanio produces this in one of Shakespeare’s less-blockbuster plays, Cymbeline.

7. Send him packing

Falstaff’s second appearance in our list.

8. Short shrift

Ratcliffe gives us this in Richard III. It didn’t appear in print again until Walter Scott’s Lord Of The Isles in 1815.

9. Seen better days

This kind insult used in furniture small ads came from Flavius in Timon Of Athens.

10. The worm will turn

Clifford gives hope to the small folk in Henry VI, Part III.

(Image: Rex Features)



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