phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

"coined the phrase"?

Posted by Gary on April 21, 2004

In Reply to: "Coined the phrase"? posted by ESC on April 20, 2004

: : Could someone PLEASE answer me on this one? It's killing me. I can't sleep at night... Who coined the phrase "coined the phrase"?
: : Becky

: Here's all I know:

: COIN A PHRASE, TO - "To invent a phrase, which if it is apt or imaginative may gain currency, and become popular generally. Today this phrase is mostly used ironically to accompany a banal remark or cliché. 'Who, to coin a phrase, would have thought of meeting you?' Ngaio Marsh: Hand in Glove, ch iv " From "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

This sounds Shakespearian to me. I did find this:

CORIOLANUS How! no more!
As for my country I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
Coin words till their decay against those measles,
Which we disdain should tatter us, yet sought
The very way to catch them.

...which is close to coining coined the phrase.