Tag Archives: Love’s Labors Lost

You Might have Quoted Shakespeare Today

Shakespeare was more than just a wordsmith–he was also the inventor of many idiomatic expressions we commonly use today. Some of his most popular phrases that most people will recognize as his work are “green eyed monster,” “a plague on both your houses,” “a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse,” “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well, Horatio,” and so on. But there are many more idioms he coined that we use everyday that you might not recognize as Shakespeare’s work.

“As cold as any stone”
From King Henry V

This idiom is used generally to describe someone as being unfeeling, but in Henry V the phrase was used to describe the feeling of a dead man lying in bed.

“As merry as the day is long”
From Much Ado About Nothing and King John

This idiom is used to express being happy and Shakespeare used it in the same fashion, although usually in a negative comparison to actions other characters had taken. I could have been as merry as the day is long if you hadn’t done something stupid is the modern equivalent to how Shakespeare used this phrase.

“As good luck would have it”
From The Merry Wives of Windsor

I almost don’t need to describe this one. It just means that you’ve run into a bought of good luck, just as Falstaff had in The Merry Wives of Windsor.