phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

The meaning and origin of the expression: I have not slept one wink

Home > Phrase Dictionary - Meanings and Origins > I have not slept one wink
Browse phrases beginning with:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T UV W XYZ - Full List


I have not slept one wink

Meaning

I have not slept at all.

Origin

The notion of getting not even a single moment's sleep has been in the language since the 14th century. Robert Manning of Brunne, in his work Handlyng synne, 1303, records the phrase in Middle English:

"Ne mete ete, ne drank drynke, Ne slepte onely a-lepy wynke."

In language that is a little more accessible to most readers in the 21st century we have Shakespeare's use of the idea in Cymbeline, 1611:

PISANIO:
O gracious lady,
Since I received command to do this business
I have not slept one wink.

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.