Romeo, you're so cheesy!

A collection of 150 everyday expressions

The old joke goes something like this: A guys walks out of the theatre having watched Hamlet for the first time. “I don’t know why everybody thinks Hamlet is such a well-written play,” he says. “It is full of clichés.” Well, here is a whole list of clichés, along with where they originated, just off the top of my head.

A fool's paradise—Romeo and Juliet

A foregone conclusion—Othello

A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! —Richard III

A little pot and soon hot—The Taming of the Shrew

A tower of strength—Richard III

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him—Hamlet

All the world's a stage—As You Like It

An eye-sore—The Taming of the Shrew

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods—King Lear

As white as driven snow—The Winter's Tale

Ay, there’s the rub—Hamlet

Bag and baggage—As You Like It

Bated breath—The Merchant of Venice

Beware the Ides of March—Julius Caesar

Blow, blow, thou winter wind—As You Like It

Breathe one’s last—Henry VI, part 3

Brevity is the soul of wit—Hamlet

Budge an inch—The Taming of the Shrew

Cold comfort—King John

Come full circle—King Lear

Come what may—Macbeth

Conscience does make cowards of us all—Hamlet

Cowards die many times before their deaths—Julius Caesar

Crack of doom—Macbeth

Dead as a doornail—Henry VI, part 2

Death by inches—Coriolanus

Devil incarnate—Henry V

Dish fit for the gods—Julius Caesar

Dog will have its dayHamlet

Done to death—Much Ado About Nothing

Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble—Macbeth

Eaten me out of house and home—Henry IV, part 2

Elbow room— King John

Et tu, Brute! –Julius Caesar

Every inch a king—King Lear

Fair is foul, and foul is fair—Macbeth

Fatal vision—Macbeth

Flaming youth—Hamlet

For goodness sake—Henry VIII

Foregone conclusion—Othello

Frailty, thy name is woman—Hamlet

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears—Julius Caesar

Full of sound and furyMacbeth

Get thee to a nunnery—Hamlet

Give the devil his dueHenry IV

Good night, ladies—Hamlet

Good riddance—Troilus and Cressida

Green-eyed monsterOthello

Halcyon days—Henry VI ****

Her infinite variety—Antony and Cleopatra

Hoist with his own petard—Hamlet

Hold a candle to—The Merchant of Venice

Household words—Henry V

I am fortune's fool—Romeo and Juliet

I have immortal longings in me—Antony and Cleopatra

I have not slept one wink—Cymbeline

In my heart of hearts—Hamlet

In my mind's eye—Hamlet

Into thin air—The Tempest

It smells to heaven—Hamlet

It was Greek to me—Julius Caesar

It's a wise father that knows his own child—The Merchant of Venice

Kill ... with kindness—The Taming of the Shrew

Knock, knock! Who’s there? —Macbeth

Laughing-stock—The Merry Wives of Windsor

Lean and hungry look—Julius Caesar

Lend me your ears—Julius Caesar

Let slip the dogs of war—Julius Caesar

Lord, what fools these mortals be!—A Midsummer Night's Dream

Love is blind—The Merchant of Venice

Merry as the day is long—Much Ado About Nothing

Milk of human kindness—Macbeth

More fool you—The Taming of the Shrew

More in sorrow than in anger—Hamlet

More sinned against than sinning—King Lear

Murder most foul—Hamlet

My own flesh and blood—The Merchant of Venice

My salad days, when I was green in judgment—Antony and Cleopatra

Neither a borrower nor a lender be—Hamlet

Not a mouse stirring—Hamlet

Now gods stand up for bastards—King Lear

Now is the winter of our discontent—Richard III

O, Brave new world—The Tempest

Once more unto the breach—Henry V

One fell swoop—Macbeth

One that loved not wisely, but too well—Othello

Out, damned spot!—Macbeth

Out, out, brief candle—Macbeth

Paint the lily—King John

Paint the lily—King John

Parting is such sweet sorrow—Romeo and Juliet

Play fast and loose—Love's Labour's Lost

Pomp and Circumstance—Othello

Primrose path—Hamlet

Put out the light—Othello

Sharper than a serpent’s tooth—King Lear

Short and the Long of It—Merry Wives of Windsor

Short shrift—Richard III

Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep—Henry VI, Part II

Something in the wind—The Comedy of Errors

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark—Hamlet

Sorry sight—Macbeth

Spotless reputation—Richard III

Star-crossed lovers—Romeo and Juliet

Stony-hearted villains—Henry IV, part 1

Stood on ceremonies—Julius Caesar

Strange bedfellows—The Tempest

Suit the action to the word—Hamlet

Sweets to the sweet—Hamlet

The be-all and the end-all—Macbeth

The better part of valour is discretion—Henry IV, part 1

The course of true love never did run smooth—A Midsummer Night's Dream

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose—The Merchant of Venice

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers—Henry VI, part 2

The game is afoot—Henry IV, part 1

The game is up—Cymbeline

The naked truth—Love's Labour's Lost

The play’s the thing—Hamlet

The quality of mercy is not strained—The Merchant of Venice

The lady doth protest too much, methinks—Hamlet

The readiness is all—Hamlet

The rest is silence—Hamlet

The time is out of joint—Hamlet

The working day world—As You Like It

The world's mine oyster—The Merry Wives of Windsor

There is a tide in the affairs of men—Julius Caesar

There’s a divinity that shapes our ends—Hamlet

They say an old man is twice a child—Hamlet

This was the noblest Roman of them all—Julius Caesar

Though this be madness, yet there is method in't—Hamlet

Throw cold water on it—The Merry Wives of Windsor

Till the crack of doom—Macbeth

'Tis neither here nor there—--Othello

To be, or not to be: that is the question—Hamlet

To make a virtue of necessity—The Two Gentlemen of Verona

To the manner born—Hamlet

To thine own self be true—Hamlet

Too much of a good thing—As You Like It

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown—Henry IV, part 2

Unkindest cut of all—--Julius Caesar

Unsex me here—Macbeth

We are such stuff as dreams are made on--The Tempest

We have seen better days—As You Like It

Wear my heart on my sleeve—Othello

What a piece of work is a man—Hamlet

What the dickens—The Merry Wives of Windsor

What’s done is done—Macbeth

What's in a name?—Romeo and Juliet

What's past is prologue—The Tempest

When shall we three meet again? –Macbeth