Words & phrases to 'set your teeth on edge'

Words and phrases to ‘set your teeth on edge’

Shakespeare’s impact on our everyday language

As you probably know, this weekend coming is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the popularity of his plays show no sign of slowing down. I’m a massive fan of Shakespearean language - frankly in my opinion there’s no-one to touch his ability to capture every human emotion in a few lines of verse.

His plots on the other had do leave a lot to be desired. But let’s not dwell on the negative, let’s celebrate the beauty of his language. So to celebrate this, I’ve compiled a list of some of the everyday words and phrases we use today that originated from one of his plays.

  • "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
  • "Rant" - Hamlet
  • "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
  • "Assassination" - Macbeth
  • "Too much of a good thing" - As You Like It
  • "A heart of gold" - Henry V
  • "Fashionable" - Troilus and Cressida
  • "Puking" - As You Like It
  • "Lie low" - Much Ado About Nothing
  • "Dead as a doornail" - Henry VI, Part II
  • "Foregone conclusion" - Othello
  • "The world's mine oyster" - The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • "Obscene" - Love's Labour's Lost
  • "Bedazzled" - The Taming of the Shrew
  • "In stitches" - Twelfth Night
  • "Addiction" - Othello
  • "Naked truth" - Love's Labour's Lost
  • "Faint-hearted" - Henry VI, Part I
  • "Send him packing" - Henry IV
  • "Vanish into thin air" - Othello
  • "Swagger" - Henry V
  • "Own flesh and blood" - Hamlet
  • "Truth will out" - The Merchant of Venice
  • "Zany" - Love's Labour's Lost
  • "There's method in my madness" - Hamlet
  • "Salad days" - Antony and Cleopatra
  • "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
  • "Come what, come may" - Macbeth

So if you find yourself using any of these words or phrases, then you are quoting Shakespeare!

jackie harrisComment