the ghost walks

the ghost walks

money is available and salaries will be paid

This expression has been explained in theatrical phrasebooks by the story that an actor playing the ghost of Hamlet's father refused to walk again until the cast's overdue salaries had been paid.


the ghost in the machine

the mind viewed as distinct from the body

This phrase was coined by the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle in The Concept of Mind (1949) for a viewpoint that he considered completely misleading.

give up the ghost

(of a person) die

(of a machine) stop working

break down especially permanently

stop making an effort

give up hope

The old English meaning of ghost – the soul or spirit as the source of life – survives only in this idiom.

look as if you have seen a ghost

look very pale and shocked

not have the ghost of a chance = not stand the ghost of a chance

have no chance at all

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