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Idioms from Shakespeare

Average: 3.2 (32 votes)

Finding the origins of words and sayings can be really fascinating.

All these idioms were invented by William Shakespeare and used in his famous plays. These are all used in everyday English; they are very well known.

Can you match each idiom to the correct sentence?

When see if you can write some of your own sentences with them.
Lesson by Caroline

Shakespearean Idioms

Lie low - To hide so you will not be caught by someone.
Good riddance - To be happy when someone or something is gone.
Green-eyed monster - Jealousy.
Night owl - A person who stays up and is active late into the night.
As dead as a doornail - Dead beyond any doubt.
A charmed life - A life that seems to have been protected by a charm, magic or spell.
Mum's the word - Keep this a secret; don't tell anybody.
Send him packing - To tell someone to go away, usually because you are annoyed with them.

  • 1. My Mum's really cross with me because I broke the vase. I think it's best if I ___ for a little while!

  • 2. I have an amazing family, a great job and a beautiful home. I really do lead ___!

  • 3. Don't worry I won't tell a soul,___.

  • 4. He acted like an idiot, I think you should ___.

  • 5. It was a terrible job anyway,___!

  • 6. Gemma is a ___! She's jealous of everyone!

  • 7. I've been a real ___ since I started university. It's normal for me to stay awake until 3 in the morning.

  • 8. 'Are you sure the mouse is dead'? ‘Definitely ___'.


i like idioms

   **  I've been workin' hard for 2 years and i haven't got my just desert yet ..i hope someday               i might have a charmed life 

   ** I've been a real night owl since my school days ..i really like studying late night and even          my  friends've been addressing me by that name (a night owl) since i started doing                     CHartered accountancy 

   **I hate those people who can't see others making progress ,they are such a real green -              eyed monster 

    **Julie: i don't like my new chemistry teacher he's so strict

      John :i've heard you julie ...i think i have to tell him whatever you've said

      Julie : ohh please !!! don't tell him  just mum's the word 

    **BOB was making me annoyed by his foolish jokes last night and do you know what i did?? i             sent him packing :P

   ** i shoudn't say this but last weekend my father's friends came home to live for a weekend  ,               they annoyed me too much and today they are gone....oh gosh ,finally good riddance !!


    I wrote these sentences with keen and i tried not to make any mistake cuz last time i did!!

   i hope these sentences are correct and it'd be incredible if we had some more lessons on IDIOMS AND PHRASALS ...these two are my favourite topics

   CHRIS !! thanx a lot for this interesting lesson ...i really enjoyed doing this 

Hi everyone here in my

Hi everyone here in my beloved English learning site!

At first I wish congratulate Chris with 1000's lesson - huge, amazing job!

And ,of course, I congratulate all of us, the fans of the site - we are lucky.

Wish you next 2000, 3000... and more lessons. Let's enjoy it!

Keep her steady!


1000 lessons

 Congratulations CHris and every member of ECenglish ...they all are really incredible 

and ofcourse congrats to all the users of this site ,we are lucky as bayan's said above


 Keep up the good work !! 

New Idioms

It's difficult for me to lie low my fault.

It was real good riddance for me when he went away. She sent him packing. But I won't tell anybody about this, Mum's the word.

Thank you for the Lesson< difficult idioms! :)

Thanks and one question

Hello Caroline,

Thank you for providing useful idioms!
I like to learn new words.

I have a question for you:
In your 1st question, "My Mum's really cross with me"
" 's " means is or has ? I think this sentence needs to be changed a little bit.
if not, could you explain to me?


is / has been

The sentence is, "My Mum is  really cross with me". (is)

To use has the sentence becomes, "My Mum's been really cross with me". (has been)

Hope that helps.

Chris M.


I thought CROSS could be only VERB before I answered this question.
but this case CROSS is adjective. Be cross with = get cross with.
Well, thank you, Mr. Chris