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The meaning and origin of the expression: Frailty, thy name is woman

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Frailty, thy name is woman

Meaning

Alluding to the alleged inherent weakness of character of women.

Origin

From Shakespeare's Hamlet, 1602:

Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month -
Let me not think on't - Frailty, thy name is woman! -
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body...

Hamlet is angry that his mother, Gertrude, has married his uncle Claudius within a month of his father's death. The speech generalizes the attribution of weakness of character from one particular woman to womankind.

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.