Good Riddance – Meaning & Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Good riddance is a phrase we unleash with a dash of relief and a smidgen of sass when we’re glad to be rid of something or someone. But why do we say it, and where did it come from? And for those spelling bee enthusiasts, is it riddance, riddence, or riddens? Let’s figure it out together, shall we?

Good Riddance Meaning Explained

Good Riddance – Meaning Origin

If you say good riddance, you’re expressing relief or pleasure at being free from a troublesome or unwelcome person or situation. It’s like shouting, “I’m so glad that’s over!” or “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” But it’s a more polite, socially acceptable way, of course. Ahem.

Origin and Etymology Behind the Phrase Good Riddance

This phrase, like a favorite worn-out sweater, has been with us for quite some time. Riddance comes from the combination of the word rid and the word-forming element “-ance.” It was also used in Shakespeare’s time, found in the play “Troilus and Cressida,” produced in 1606.

Good Riddance Ngram
Good riddance usage trend.

By the late 17th century, good riddance was already in regular use and usually uttered by disgruntled folks waving goodbye to their problems.

How Do You Spell Good Riddance?

Listen up and take note: it’s good riddance, not good riddens or good riddence, despite how it sounds. The word riddance comes from the verb rid, which means to remove or get rid of something. So, remember, it’s not about bidding farewell to your riddens or riddences—it’s riddance, plain and simple.

Synonyms for Good Riddance

Sometimes, you need a few different ways to bid adieu. Here are a few good alternatives to good riddance:

  • Glad to see the back of
  • Goodbye and good luck
  • Don’t come back now, ya hear?
  • Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you
  • Happy trails

Good Riddance Examples in a Sentence

Good Riddance – Meaning Origin 1

  • When my noisy neighbors finally moved out this summer, all I could think was, “Good riddance!”
  • I can’t wait to say good riddance to this stupid, old printer when the new one arrives.
  • When he finally quit his toxic job, his friends shouted, “Good riddance!”
  • After finishing the last of my exams, I said good riddance to my study notes.
  • Once the hurricane finally passed, we said good riddance and welcomed the sunshine as we picked up the pieces of our home.
  • When my old, unreliable car was finally towed away, I thought, “Good riddance!”
  • After the pest control visit, it was good riddance to those darn cockroaches.
  • She said good riddance to her ex-boyfriend and looked forward to a fresh start in life.
  • I finished the dreadful book and thought, “Good riddance! Now I can read something I like!”

The Last Word

And that’s pretty much all I have to say about this idiom. Now you can wave goodbye to any confusion around the phrase good riddance. It’s handy for those moments when you’re more than just a little relieved to say goodbye. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a cup of tea and a good book—no good riddance necessary here!