Posted by Masakim on October 30, 2001
In Reply to: Re: Origin of "Lead on McDuff" posted by Barney on October 30, 2001
: : Does anyone know the origin of "Lead on McDuff". My wife and I were asking ourselves where it might have originated last night.
: The correct quote, from Macbeth, is:
: "Lay on, Macduff,
: And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'"
: They are Macbeth's last words, meaning "go for it, Macduff, let's fight to the death!", before Macduff kills him in combat. If you're asking why this is so misquoted, no-one seems to know - I certainly first heard of the phrase as 'lead on...'.
See "lay on, Macduff," The Mavens' Word of the Day (July 22, 1997)