Why do we say in one fell swoop?
All at once, in a single action, as in This law has lifted all the controls on cable TV in one fell swoop. This term was used and probably invented by Shakespeare in Macbeth (4:3), where the playwright likens the murder of Macduff’s wife and children to a hawk swooping down on defenseless prey.
How do you use one fell swoop?
If you do something at/in one fell swoop, you do it all at the same time: I got all my Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop.
Who made the phrase one fell swoop?
The phrase “one fell swoop” comes from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Most people know that if you do something in one fell swoop, you do it all at once. As in, “I sat down last night and made my website in one fell swoop.”
Is it one fell swoop or one fell swoop?
In fact the phrase does have some connection to birds – but both “one fowl swoop” and “one foul swoop” are incorrect. The original phrase is actually “one fell swoop”. The phrase is an old one. It may have been coined by Shakespeare in 1605, or he may merely have popularised it.
What does fell mean Shakespeare?
vicious and cruel
As a noun, a fell can be a stitching on the hem of a piece of clothing like pants, or an animal skin that has the fur intact. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the character MacDuff is stricken when he learns that his family has been killed “in one fell swoop.” Here the adjective fell means “vicious and cruel.”
What is Hell’s kite in Macbeth?
The imagery in that passage is all about birds. First, by now Macbeth has become a murderous tyrant and the image casts him as a kite. Kites are birds of prey that swoop silently in a curved projectile and grab their prey – mainly small mammals and birds.
What does in a pickle mean?
to be stuck in a difficult situation
These days, the phrase “in a pickle” has an old-timey ring about it–the last time you heard it, it was probably referring to a baseball player trapped between two bases, and even that’s more commonly called a “rundown” by today’s commentators. But you know what it means: to be stuck in a difficult situation.
What does the expression away with the fairies mean?
to behave in a strange way that seems to be out of touch with reality.
What means fell deeds?
Evil, cruel, wicked, deadly, fierce. E.g. “a fell deed”. Usually found nowadays in the expression “in/at one fell swoop” (originally from Shakespeare’s Macbeth).
What all my pretty chickens and their dam meaning?
Poor Macduff, learning that Macbeth has had his wife and children murdered, cries “What, all my pretty chickens and their dam/At one fell swoop?” Thus enters the language a popular phrase meaning “terrible blow” (the image is of a ruthless hawk swooping down to slaughter helpless chicks).
What do owls symbolize Macbeth?
The owl is a symbol of death and is used in many instances to portray evil and darkness. Here, the sound of the owl marks the death of Duncan, alarming Lady Macbeth that the Macbeth has already committed the deed.
What does hitting the nail on the head mean?
something that is exactly right
DEFINITION: It means “to do or say something that is exactly right.” You can use this phrase when someone finds the exact answer of a problem or a question. EXAMPLE: “You hit the nail on the head with this color of wallpaper for the living room; it looks better than I expected!”
Where does the saying a load of old cobblers come from?
Origins. The phrase originated as Cockney rhyming slang where “cobblers” refers to cobbler’s awls which rhymes with “balls” (testicles). The use of the rhyme allows a taboo word, in this case the vulgar exclamation “balls!”, to be avoided. The use of “cobblers” as a synonym for balls dates back to at least the 1930s.
What does back of beyond mean?
Definition of the back of beyond informal. : a place that is very far from other places and people : a remote place He lives by himself in a cabin out in the back of beyond.
What does Théoden say before they charge at Helm’s Deep?
Look at my men. Their courage hangs by a thread. If this is to be our end, then I would have them make such an end as to be worthy of remembrance. Before leaving Helm’s Deep, I would be remiss if I did not include this exchange.
What does King Theoden say before the charge?
Théoden just says “Ride now! Ride to Gondor!” before their charge at Minas Tirith. Théoden says the first variant to the Riders of Rohan at Edoras as he did in the book, in full.
What is an egg metaphor?
“What you egg!” is a line taken from Act 4, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, and is one of the more well known – and seemingly bizarre – Shakespeare insults. The word ‘egg’ meant exactly the same in Elizabethan times as it does today. To call someone an egg was as bewildering then as it is today.
What do crickets symbolize in Macbeth?
Terms in this set (5) Shakespeare may have chosen to describe the sounds in the this way to symbolise the immediate effect that the death of the king had on nature. Even the owls and the crickets heard, and screamed and cried in horror. Macbeth was unable to say ‘Amen’ and questions why.
What does it mean when something happens in one fell swoop?
A single and rapid act. “Fell” comes from an Old English word for frightful and “swoop” describes the way hawks and other birds of prey drop out of the sky to capture their victims. Accordingly, something that is done “in one fell swoop,” whether or not it is awful, happens with no hesitation.
What is a fell swoop in Macbeth?
The swoop (or stoop as is sometimes now said) is the rapid descent made by the bird when capturing prey. Shakespeare used the imagery of a hunting bird’s ‘fell swoop’ to indicate the ruthless and deadly attack by Macbeth’s agents.
What is a kite fell swoop?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam At one fell swoop? The kite referred to is a hunting bird, like the Red Kite, which was common in England in Tudor times and is now making a welcome return after near extinction in the 20th century. The swoop (or stoop as is sometimes now said) is the rapid descent made by the bird when capturing prey.
What was Nixon’s’one fell swoop’?
He saw a golden opportunity: In one fell swoop, he could curry favor with the senior citizen vote and hold Nixon’s feet to the fire. As businesspeople that was hard to do, because we worked all year to increase revenues by $150,000 and now we could do it in one fell swoop.