I’ll Send Him Packing

Here’s part three in a new video series from  BBC Learning English and The Open University called ‘Shakespeare Speaks’. The series celebrates Shakespeare’s use of language with light-hearted video clips that imagine the inspiration for Shakespearean phrases that are still in use today.

Here the origin of Shakespeare’s phrase “I’ll send him packing” is explored. In today’s video William Shakespeare isn’t getting on very well with his actors… is that why people are throwing rotten fruit?

The phrase I’ll send him packing was in common use in Shakespeare’s day. It means the same today as it did back then: I really don’t want this person around me, so I’ll send them away.

Example sentence
I’ve no patience when people try to sell me things at the door. I usually send them packing.

It’s also used in sport, to talk about beating an opponent.

Example sentence
This is our chance to do it and we should send them packing with their tails between their legs.


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