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Mintage of man

Posted by ESC on April 21, 2004

In Reply to: Mintage of man posted by Henry 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.

Gary's the hero. He found the Shakespearian connection.