phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Mintage of man

Posted by Henry on April 21, 2004

In Reply to: "Coined the phrase"? posted by Gary on April 21, 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.

Well found, ESC! Here's another poetic use of coin, again from A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad, this time XXIII, The lads in their hundreds. This is one of my favourite verses.

But now you may stare as you like and there's nothing to scan;
And brushing your elbow unguessed-at and not to be told
They carry back bright to the coiner the mintage of man,
The lads that will die in their glory and never be old.