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The meaning and origin of the expression: Thereby hangs a tale

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Thereby hangs a tale

Meaning

There's an interesting story associated with this matter.

Origin

From Shakespeare's As You Like It, 1600:

JAQUES:
      A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest,
      A motley fool; a miserable world!
      As I do live by food, I met a fool
      Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
      And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms,
      In good set terms and yet a motley fool.
      'Good morrow, fool,' quoth I. 'No, sir,' quoth he,
      'Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune:'
      And then he drew a dial from his poke,
      And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
      Says very wisely, 'It is ten o'clock:
      Thus we may see,' quoth he, 'how the world wags:
      'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,
      And after one hour more 'twill be eleven;
      And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
      And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
      And thereby hangs a tale.' When I did hear
      The motley fool thus moral on the time,
      My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
      That fools should be so deep-contemplative,
      And I did laugh sans intermission
      An hour by his dial. O noble fool!
      A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.