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The meaning and origin of the expression: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'?

The proverbial saying 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' expresses the idea that working constantly and making no time for enjoyment makes one bored and boring.

What's the origin of the phrase 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'?

As with many proverbs, it isn't clear who coined this expression. Many of them were in use in the language before they were ever written down.

The first record of the proverb in print that I know of is in the collections of proverbs published by James Howell, Paroimiographia Proverbs, or, Old sayed sawes & adages in English:

All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy

This proverb is unusual in the it was first written down in exactly the wording that we still use.

See also: the List of Proverbs.