Infographic: Forty Sayings We Owe to Shakespeare

It’s going on 400 years since Shakespeare died, but his impact is still felt in modern English. The following chart details close to 40 different sayings that are credited to Shakespeare, including “bated breath”, “out of the jaws of death”, and “in a pickle”.

Some of the credits are probably erroneous, and others are corrupted versions of Shakespeare’s work, but even so it is still a surprise to see how modern idiom is still being influenced by a long dead playwright.

On a related note, does anyone know the original source of this image? I found this via Twitter, and I’d like to credit the creator.

40 sayins we owe to Shakespeareglobe theatre photo by D-Stanley


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Toryman24 August, 2015

    Baited breath v. Bated breath?

    1. Nate Hoffelder24 August, 2015

      Good eye.

      I usually catch that myself, but this time I missed it.

  2. Geoffrey Kidd24 August, 2015

    “Baited” breath?????

  3. puzzled24 August, 2015

    Well, the list is a bit fishy…

  4. AC de Fombelle25 August, 2015


    cool list. I found this source “A 20-year-old girl named Becky from London posted a picture of one of the pages of her Moleskine notebook on Tumblr.”

    Maybe that’s the original person to credit 🙂

  5. […] I'll give you a hint; it's not the sayings he invented.  Those are just a few of the dozens of expressions he's credited with (here's more). […]


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