phrases, sayings, proverbs and idioms at

The Phrase Finder

Home | Search the phrases.org.uk website | Phrase Dictionary | The game is up

The meaning and origin of the expression: The game is up

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


The game is up

Meaning

Cobbe family portrait of William ShakespeareThe original meaning was 'the game is over - all is lost'. More recently it has come to be used to mean ' we have seen through your tricks - your deceit is exposed'.

Origin

From Shakespeare's Cymbeline, 1611:

Euriphile, Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their mother,
And every day do honour to her grave:
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call'd,
They take for natural father. The game is up.

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.