The game is afoot

The game is afoot is a proverb that is hundreds of years old. We will examine the meaning of the proverb the game is afoot, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

The game is afoot means that something is beginning, something has started, or a challenge has begun. The game is afoot implies that the thing that has begun or started is exciting and interesting. The phrase the game is afoot is derived from King Henry IV Part I, written by William Shakespeare in 1597: “Before the game is afoot, thou still let’st slip.” The proverb the game is afoot was popularized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his series of books and stories about the exploits of Sherlock Holmes, published at the turn of the twentieth century.


Set in the ominous Boddy Manor, the guests are summoned to a mysterious dinner party and the game is afoot. (Chico Enterprise-Record)

Millie Bobby Brown plays Sherlock’s sister and the game is afoot once more – with a twist (Times Picayune)

THE game is afoot to find a new home for Sherlock Holmes in Portsmouth after a Stephen Fry-backed plan has foundered. (Portsmouth News)

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