No news is good news is an idiom with roots in a phrase written 400 years ago. 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 no news is good news, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.
No news is good news is a roundabout way of saying that if you have not been told that something bad has happened, then nothing bad has happened. If nothing bad has happened, that is good. So no news is good news. King James I of England is credited with first expressing this sentiment in his writings in 1616: “No news is better than evil news.” The idiom no news is good news was extrapolated from this phrase within 30 years.
No news is good news for pound pinned near $1.29 (Reuters)
It’s often said that no news is good news and that especially holds true for an election. (Worcester Telegram)
No news is good news, at least when it comes to the reopening of the city’s popular greenbelts. (Austin American-Statesman)
It may not be “no” news, but it’s close enough to say that no news is good news when it comes to the 17th annual Swim Teal Lake for Diabetes event. (Marquette Mining Journal)