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The meaning and origin of the expression: Too much of a good thing

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Too much of a good thing


Excess may do you harm.


Portrait of William ShakespeareThe Oxford Dictionary of Quotations lists this phrase as proverbial and dates it from the late 15th century. Th earliest example that I can find of it in print is from Shakespeare's As You Like It, 1600:

ROSALIND: Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?
Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.
Give me your hand, Orlando. What do you say, sister?

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.