Shuffle off this mortal coil

Shuffle off this mortal coil is an idiom that has been in use for hundreds of years. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase shuffle off this mortal coil, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To shuffle off this mortal coil means to die. The expression mortal coil refers to the trials and tribulations of life. To shuffle off this mortal coil means to rid oneself of the trials and tribulations of life, and the only way to truly do that is to die. The idiom to shuffle off this mortal coil was coined by William Shakespeare and may be found in the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy in his play, Hamlet: “What dreames may come, When we haue shufflel’d off this mortall coile, Must giue vs pawse.” Other phrases that originated in this celebrated speech are the undiscovered country, there’s the rub, perchance to dream, and what dreams may come. Related phrases are shuffles off this mortal coil, shuffled off this mortal coil, shuffling off this mortal coil.

Examples

Here, death is bureaucratic and full of paperwork, and Thomas has been deemed insufficiently dead, lacking the appropriate exit narrative to fully shuffle off this mortal coil. (USA Today)

For readers who have planned to pass on an IRA, Congress thoughtfully gave you 12 days to shuffle off this mortal coil. (The Wall Street Journal)

The authors tout the collection of death stories as “the first comprehensive study of the phenomenon of performing artists who shuffle off this mortal coil mid-song, mid-solo, mid-concert.” (LA Weekly)

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