Tired of constantly hearing how great Shakespeare was? If so, this article might prove satisfying.
Seems Billy – the OED credits him with 1500 examples of using a word or phrase for the first time was – like most authors who want ANY attention – not above incorporating the vernacular … words or phrases already in use at the time. Internet sites like Early English Books Online are helping to chase down examples.
• “It’s Greek to me.” Not original.
• “wild goose chase.” Not original.
Dr McInnis noted that Shakespeare sometimes appears to have refashioned existing phrases – such as “the better part of valour is discretion” – to make them “concise and catchy”.
Well … there it is. One more chink in the armor. Savor.