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Green-eyed monster

  • Green-eyed monster is an idiom that is hundreds of years old. An idiom is a word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases and popular expressions that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the idiom green-eyed monster, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    The idiom green-eyed monster is a synonym for jealousy. Green-eyed monster is an embodiment of the human emotion of jealousy. Jealousy is a destructive emotion, and may involve envy, anger, humiliation, or suspicion. The idiom green-eyed monster was coined by William Shakespeare in his play, Othello, in 1604: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on…” Note that the word green-eyed is an adjective used before a verb, and therefore, is hyphenated.

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    Examples

    “Not only do they have a huge mutual respect – they never utter a bad word to one another – there’s absolutely no place in the relationship for the green-eyed monster,” adds our source. (The Sun)

    However, in the early days of the band’s fame, their success sparked some of the green-eyed monster in Sir Mick. (The Daily Express)

    Professor Garth Lipps believes that the colloquial ‘green-eyed monster’ might have played a role in several of these vicious attacks on women, but he laments the fact that men often do not have someone to talk to who can help them tame their emotions. (The Jamaica Gleaner)


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