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Hell broke loose

Posted by ESC on November 05, 1999

In Reply to: Hell broke loose posted by A.C.H. on November 04, 1999

: Does anybody know the origin of the phrase "All hell broke loose"? It sounds like it might come from some 18th century metaphysical poem...

Close, but no cigar.

"All hell broke loose. Everything went out of control; wild commotion and confusion ensued. First recorded in 1594 in Robert Greene's play 'Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, and used by John Milton in 1667 in 'Paradise Lost'..." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman .

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