Stink to high heaven

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Stink to high heaven : Phrases


To have a very strong odor.


There's a road kill on 101 that stinks to high heaven.


Heaven as referenced in the bible is presumably quite a long distance away, and anything here that could be smelled in heaven would be a powerful odor indeed.

Shakespeare may have originated the phrase (or at least made it famous) in
Hamlet when Hamlet's uncle, the king of Denmark says: O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon it, A brother's murder.

Heavens also refers to the planets and stars. Also a fair distance away. It's interesting that Shakespeare's reference was not an actually an odor, but a deed that was observable from heaven.

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