Posted by Bob on November 05, 1999
In Reply to: Hell broke loose posted by ESC on November 05, 1999
: : Does anybody know the origin of the phrase "All hell broke loose"? It sounds like it might come from some 18th century metaphysical poem...
: Close, but no cigar.
: "All hell broke loose. Everything went out of control; wild commotion and confusion ensued. First recorded in 1594 in Robert Greene's play 'Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, and used by John Milton in 1667 in 'Paradise Lost'..." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman .
By the way, the metaphysical poets were 17th century.