• Counter :
  • 2868
  • Date :
  • 5/13/2013

Gild the lily

gild

Meaning

To apply unnecessary ornament - to over embellish.

 

Origin

Shakespeare didn't coin the term 'gild the lily', but he came as close to doing so in King John, 1595:

 

Definition:

To adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful. The expression is a condensation of Shakespeare's metaphor in King John: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily ... is wasteful and ridiculous excess." i.e., you wouldn't need to add gold to a beautiful lily.

 

Etymology:

Idiom: gild the lily1. To adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful.

2. To make superfluous additions to what is already complete.

[Middle English gilden, from Old English gyldan; see ghel-2 in Indo-European roots.]

gilder n.


Source:

thefreedictionary.com

urbandictionary.com

phrases.org.uk


Other Links:

Close, but no cigar

Close quarters

  • Print

    Send to a friend

    Comment (0)