no rest for the wicked

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From the Book of Isaiah verses 48:22 and 57:20-21, originally Hebrew. First attested in English in 1535, in Coverdale Bible of Miles Coverdale.[1] Quoted in biblical sense for centuries, humorous secular sense popularized from 1930s, particularly due to use as title of popular Little Orphan Annie strip by Harold Gray in 1933.[1]

ProverbEdit

no rest for the wicked

  1. (literally) Eternal torment in hell awaits sinners.
    • 1535, Miles Coverdale, Coverdale Bible, Book of Isaiah 57:20-21:
      20: But the wicked are like the raginge see, that ca not rest, whose water fometh with the myre & grauel.
      21: Eueso ye wicked haue no peace, saieth my God.
      20: But the wicked are like the raging sea, that cannot rest, whose water foams with the mire & gravel.
      21: ? you wicked have no peace, says my God.
  2. (humorous) People who are wicked must work harder than normal people.

Usage notesEdit

Primarily used today for mild comic effect,[1] meaning “one must work (particularly because one has been lax)”, as in Annie usage.

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 No rest for the wicked”, The Phrase Finder, Gary Martin.
Last modified on 9 October 2013, at 16:47