I’m on a bit of a Shakespeare kick at the moment and when reading I’m constantly amazed at the quotes from his plays that are still widely used today. At some point I’ll research each one more and find out which phrases he coined and which were already in use at the time.

King Henry V

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends” (3.1)

“The game’s afoot” (3.1)

Be honest – who else thought this was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers” (4.3)


“Neither a borrower, nor a lender be” (1.3)

“to thine own self be true” (1.3)

“Murder most foul” (1.5)

“When we have shuffled off this mortal coil” (3.1)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“The course of true love never did run smooth” (1.1)

“though she be but little, she is fierce” (3.2)

Image credit: William Shakespeare (Élisée Reclus, public domain)