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Idioms from Shakespeare

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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 ___'.