If you were listening to the radio this morning, you might have heard that today is William Shakespeare’s 451st birthday. This may or may not actually be true! Traditionally, Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated on April 23rd, but all we really know is that he was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. He died on April 23rd, 1616 – possibly his 63rd birthday.

But it’s nice to honor the man anyway! It’s a good time to reflect on how much of Shakespeare is preserved in the language we speak every single day. Here are just a few very familiar expressions coined by Shakespeare:

Expression Play
Heart of gold Henry V
Good riddance Troilus and Cressida
The game is up Cymbeline
Full circle King Lear
Kill with kindness Taming of the Shrew
Melted into thin air The Tempest
For goodness sake Henry VIII
Foregone conclusion Othello
In my mind’s eye Hamlet
Break the ice Taming of the Shrew


There are actually hundreds of these, but these are just a few of my favorites. If you have a favorite phrase from Shakespeare, write it in the Comments section. We love to hear from you!