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Might and main

Posted by ESC on December 02, 2000

In Reply to: Use of a phrase posted by McKee on December 02, 2000

: In a term paper I expressed Shakespeare overcame difficulties throughout his life through "might and main" ...located this phrase in the thesaurus under
: talent/ability/effective,powerful force. The pen is mightier than the sword. Teacher felt that although each point tied into his accomplishing "through might and main" she didn't understand what that phrase meant.

WITH MIGHT AND MAIN - "By all means at hand; with all one's strength. In times past, 'main' was a common word meaning physical strength. In that sense, it survives only in its association with 'might.' In one of the Wakefield Plays, dating from the early 15th century, there is the line 'with mayn and might.'" From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985), Page 201.

: Any help out there? She said because of that it deserves no better than a 78. Bummer.