17 Shakespearean Phrases We Use Every Day
William Shakespeare’s a name that’s at least as well-known as Kim Kardashian, as cringeworthy as that is. But while many across the western world might recognize the name, and even know what he did, it’s much more rare that a person can consciously recite a line from one of the Bard’s plays. Unconsciously, however, it’s something we do every day. Even if you don’t know the name of William Shakespeare, chances are you’re well-versed in one of many Shakespearean Phrases.
“As luck would have it,” is taken almost directly from his 1602 play, The Merry Wives of Windsor. While the line is actually, “as good luck would have it.” The same play saw the term “laughing stock,” coined.
“Wild goose-chase,” is taken from Romeo & Juliet, in a scene from the second act spoken by Mercutio.
The term, “foregone conclusion,” saw it’s genesis in the racially-charged play Othello, which saw a Moor rise to power in 17th century Venice. The same play treats us to the term, “wear my heart upon my sleeve.”
If you’ve ever gone on a date, you’ve probably wondered what the best way to “break the ice,” was. That term originated from The Taming of the Shrew. If you tried to, “kill with kindness,” you may even have gotten a second date.
“Knock knock! Who’s there?” Macbeth. Macbeth was there in, “one fell swoop.”
Henry IV through Henry VI featured many common phrases, many of which not for the, “faint hearted.” The “devil incarnate,” might just, “eat you out of house and home.” But, “give the devil his due,” or you just might end up, “dead as a doornail.”
The term, “in my mind’s eye,” emerged out of Hamlet, while “good riddance,” was born out of Troilus and Cressida.
And finally, with King Lear, we come, “full circle.”
For more commonly-used Shakespearean phrases, check out this article from BBC America.