Happy Birthday Shakespeare! I share my birthday with Shakespeare and it is no accident I happen to love books 🙂 What Shakespeare has contributed is far beyond the scope of this blog post but on his birthday today, I am listing some idioms that we learnt from his books. These are simple idioms/day to day life phrases that we use yet we do not know where they originated.

  1. A dish fit for gods : An offering of highest quality
  2. A forgone conclusion : A decision made well in advance/ inevitable decision
  3. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet: Substance matters not the appearance or name attached to it
  4. All’s well that ends well : A risk/adventure/gamble is justified if in the end it turns out well
  5. All that glitters is not gold : Not everything that is shiny is super valuable
  6. As good as luck would have it : The most fortunate chance
  7. At a snail’s pace : Very slow
  8. At one fell swoop : in one swift action
  9. Bated breath : waiting for something to happen eagerly
  10. Be-all, End-all : Epitome of perfection be it a thing or a person
  11. Break ice : Remove tension/awkwardness
  12. Breath life into stone : Revive something/someone
  13. Brevity is the soul of wit : choose simplicity/brevity/short version
  14. But, for my own part, it was greek to me : foreign or hard to understand
  15. Come what come may : What is going happen will happen.It is not in our hands.
  16. Conscience does make cowards of us all : People sometimes are afraid to do what they want because they think it is wrong or because of society
  17. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war : great destruction, a warning of incoming danger/disaster
  18. Dead as a doornail : definitely dead
  19. Fair play : fairness and justice in context of games
  20. Forever and a day : For infinity it seems
  21. Green eyed monster : Jealousy
  22. In a pickle : In difficult situation
  23. In my heart of hearts : innermost/secret feelings
  24. Kill with kindness : being super kind to someone to the point of being extreme
  25. Laugh oneself into stitches :  Laughing uncontrollably
  26. Laughing stock : subject to mockery or ridicule
  27. Love is blind – 🙂
  28. Makes your hair stand on end : something frightening
  29. Method in my madness : There’s plan behind a person’s inexplicable/crazy behavior
  30. My mind’s eye : In my imagination
  31. Milk of human kindness :  compassion for others
  32. More sinned against than sinning : Wrongdoers think themselves as victim of serious wrongdoing
  33. Mum’s the word : Keep it a secret
  34. Neither a borrower nor a lender be : lending money is always dangerous
  35. Neither here nor there : Of little or no importance
  36. Night owl : Someone who is awake a t night
  37. Play fast and loose : behave irresponsibly or immorally
  38. Rhyme nor reason : Something that doesn’t make sense
  39. Salad days : youthful inexperience days
  40. Send him packing : To tell someone to go away
  41. The game is afoot :  The situation is already happening (And yes it is Shakespeare not Sir Arthur Canon Doyle!)
  42. Thereby hangs a tale : an interesting story behind the matter
  43. This is the short and long of it : The all truth of the situation
  44. To be, or not to be, that is the question : Question of life and death
  45. Too much of a good thing: Excess may do you harm
  46. Turning of the tide : change from previous situation.
  47. Vanish into thin air : Disappear
  48. Wear my heart upon my sleeve : display your feelings openly
  49. Wild goose chase : meaningless efforts
  50. You have got to be cruel to be kind : In order to help someone, you have to be harsh to them sometimes in terms of your actions or words. It is good for them.

Most of the meaning are as i have understood them or seen/read them in different books. Please do let me know of any incorrect meaning.

A bonus: I saw a TedEx video of insults by Shakespeare. Here is the link to it. Enjoy!!

Video Courtesy : http://ed.ted.com/