One of the world’s most famous playwrights, William Shakespeare, recently celebrated his 450th birthday. But despite the passage of time, Shakespeare’s influence on English culture is still strongly felt today. From ‘in a pickle’ to ‘good riddance’, William Shakespeare wrote a lot of great plays and devised countless new plot tropes, but he also coined and popularized a lot of common words and phrases that we still use to this day. Many famous quotes from his plays are easily recognizable, such as phrases like “To be or not to be,” “wherefore art thou Romeo,” and “et tu, Brute?” However, an incredible number of lines from Shakespeare’s plays have become so ingrained into modern vernacular that we no longer recognize them as lines from plays at all. Here are 21 phrases you use but may not have known come courtesy of Shakespeare.
Categories for Culture
The English language is awash with sayings and phrases that cover everything from new beginnings (“back to square one”) to endings (“kick the bucket”) and just about everything in between. Many reflect not only the development of the language over the course of history, but also the story of our shared experiences. The problem is that many people who use these phrases wind up flubbing and butchering the particular saying so badly that it means something else entirely or nothing at all. Some of the most common expressions are also some of the most commonly confused. Read on to master some of the most misused phrases that are regularly said wrong.