Shades of grey

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 02, 2007

In Reply to: Shades of grey posted by Phillip on March 31, 2007

: Now, I've been hearing the phrase, "there's no black and white, just shades of grey," a lot recently, and I was curious if it came from anyone in particular, or if it had a traceable origin.

: Anyone know? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I don't think it has a traceable origin. The phrase "shades of grey" is found at least as early as 1825, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which it mentions only in defining "greys" as a plural noun. But whoever added the distinctive, "there's no black and white," seems not to be easy to find.