Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil

Phrases from Shakespeare

Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil


To die.



From Hamlet's 'To be or not to be' speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet, 1603:

"What dreames may come, When we haue shufflel'd off this mortall coile, Must giue vs pawse."

In Shakespeare's time 'coil', or coile', or coyle', meant 'fuss' or 'bustle'. That usage was recorded in Michael Drayton's Idea, the shepheards garland, 1593:

"You Will, and Will not, what a coyle is here?"

Shakespeare also used it prior to his 'mortal coil' expression, in King John, 1595:

"I am not worth this coyle that's made for me."

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