phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Browse phrases beginning with:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T UV W XYZ Full List

"of the manor born"

Posted by Kate on April 10, 2001

In Reply to: "Of the manor born" posted by ESC on April 09, 2001

: : : : : Never heard this phrase b4! I need a reply! Can anybody please explain what "of the manor born" means? Important.
: : : : : TY, Celina :)

: : : : I'm pretty sure it means " A person that is born to wealthy people". Coming from the old times where wealthy Barons and other royalty lived in large homes or Manors.

: : : Someone just told me that there is British TV show "To the Manor Born." But that's a pun. The phrase is "to the manner born." (See my other post.)

: : Can't comment on the Shakespear quote but there was indeed a British Sitcom called 'To the Manor born.' Starred Penelope Keith and Richard Somebody. Basically a story about
: : rich lady fallen on hard times can't aford to keep Manor so sells it to Supermarket chain
: : owner. She moves into the gate keeper cottage etc etc.

: : So being 'To the Manor born' would mean born to the wealthy or at least large home owner!

: Yes, I guess. (We don't have many real manors here in the U.S. At least not in my social set. Developers often give ritzy names to streets to make the area sound swank.) But "manor born" is a pun on the original phrase:

: THE MANNER BORN - "Though I am native here and to the manner born, it is a custom more honored in the breach than in the observance." Hamlet by William Shakespeare. "What Hamlet means is there is more honor in breaking than in observing the custom, which is to drain a goblet of wine in a single gulp when making a toast. He finds his country's reputation for drunkenness embarrassing. The quote is commonly misused to refer to a custom more often ignored than followed." From "Dictionary of Quotations from Shakespeare" selected by Margaret Miner and Hugh Rawson (Penguin Books, New York, published by Signet, 1994).

That's right! It comes from Shakespeare. It is "manner" born, not "manor."