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No worse for the wear

Posted by Gary on February 13, 2004

In Reply to: No worse for the wear posted by Mike on February 13, 2004

: Hello all

: Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "no worse for the wear"? It sounds Shakespearean, but as far as I can tell, it exists nowhere in the Bard's canon. Any clues?

: Thanks,
: Mike

The is a phrase - "the worse for wear". That refers to something that is shabby and worn. It is more often used to describe someone who is drunk. The coyness in that oblique reference to drunkeness is similar to "tired and emotional" which is used in the same context.

It does sound Shakespearian but I can't find it in his works. The earliest reference I can find comes from William Cowper.