Shakespeare didn’t come up with most of the famous phrases in his plays but was credited with them because of a fault with the Oxford English dictionary, a leading scholar claims.
come up with, literally 相处, here it is paraphrased as 发明
Mr McInnis argues that it is actually the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) that has attributed the phrases to Shakespeare, but it is ‘biased’.
‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare was frequently raided for early examples of word use, even though words or phrases might have been used earlier, by less famous or less literary people,’ he writes in the University of Melbourne magazine.
‘Its’ all Greek to me,’ which appears in playwright Robert Greene’s The Scottish History of James The Fourth before in Julius Ceaser.
‘A wild goose chase,’ is credited as first appearing in Romeo and Juliet by the OED, but it had appeared at least six times in English poet Gervase Markham’s book about horsemanship a few years earlier in 1593.
‘Eaten out of house and home‘ is thought to first appear in Henry IV part two, written in the 1590s, but examples from as early as 1578 have been found.
‘Without rhyme or reason’ was thought to come from As You Like it but earlier versions can be traced back to the 1400s.
However, Shakespeare is thought to have made them more ‘concise’ and ‘catchy‘. He did still invent most of his famous quotations, including ‘to make an ass of oneself’.’ His audiences had to understand at least the gist of what he meant, so his words were mostly in circulation already or were logical combinations of pre-existing concepts,’ writes Dr McInnis.