My cup runneth over

My cup runneth over is an idiom that has its roots in ancient times. An idiom is a commonly used 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 common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, 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, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common saying my cup runneth over, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

My cup runneth over is a comment that one feels very blessed, that one has more than enough to provide for one’s needs and wants, that one is fortunate. The expression my cup runneth over is taken from the Bible; more specifically, the King James Version of Psalms 23:5: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”


“As weird as 2020 has been … my cup runneth over,” she said. (Roanoke Times)

My personal wonder is how well things have worked out for me if my choice of path might have gone awry, but it did not, and my cup runneth over. (Red Bluff Daily News)

“So, my cup runneth over and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!” (Hello Magazine)

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