Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

10 phrases coined by Shakespeare

shakespeare.jpg

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)

Related

Books-HERO.jpg

14 daunting books every man must read

Author-Advice.jpg

30 Pieces Of Wisdom From Authors

hero_book covers.jpg

The 50 Coolest Book Covers

Comments

More

We pinpointed the exact moment The Simpsons should have ended

Consider every episode after this null and void

by Tristan Cross
21 Jul 2017

The very best 'so-bad-they're-good' movies you absolutely need to see

Thought 'The Room' was bad? You ain't seen nothing yet

by Gary Ogden
21 Jul 2017

How Chester Bennington's voice single-handedly won me over to nu-metal

Paying tribute to a world class frontman

by Dave Fawbert
21 Jul 2017

The new series of Arrested Development is going to be a murder mystery

This is going to be amazing

by Emily Reynolds
21 Jul 2017

The music world pays tribute to Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

From Rihanna to Stormzy...

by Dave Fawbert
21 Jul 2017

16 things you (probably) didn't know about Appetite for Destruction

Fascinating facts about the Guns N' Roses classic

by Dave Fawbert
21 Jul 2017

Hidden detail from 'Game of Thrones' scene could reveal Cersei's fate

We're totally convinced

by Alex Finnis
21 Jul 2017

Watch Romelu Lukaku score his first excellent Manchester derby goal

The new man's found his form already

by Alex Finnis
21 Jul 2017

Chester Bennington, Linkin Park singer has died aged 41

Police have said that he committed suicide

by Dave Fawbert
20 Jul 2017

Gary Lineker and other BBC stars react to jibes over pay packets

Where do you stand on the salary debate?

by Dave Fawbert
20 Jul 2017