The Definition of the Idiom “Lay On, Macduff”

The phrase “lay on, Macduff” is a phrase you may see or hear used in everyday informal conversation or writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information about its origin. You will also find examples of how to properly use this phrase in conversations/statements and you will find alternative ways to say the phrase that still conveys the same meaning.

Lay On, Macduff

Lay On, Macduff Meaning

The phrase “lay on, Macduff” means to challenge someone, to tell them to take their best shot.

Origin of this idiom

The phrase “lay on, Macduff” comes from the play Macbeth written by Shakespeare in the year 1623. The phrase is what the character Macbeth says to his enemy Macduff when they confront one another for a final time. It has been used as a phrase ever since to lay down a challenge.

“Lay On, Macduff” Examples

Example Statements

A statement made by a politician running for office to his opponent.

  • “My opponent keeps trying to run this smear campaign against me. Well, lay on, Macduff!”

A statement made by a celebrity during an interview with a well-known entertainment magazine.

  • “She keeps saying all these things about me and she doesn’t even know me. I am not sure why this feud started but lay on, Macduff. I’ll just keep firing back.”

Example Conversation

A conversation between two opposing high school football quarterbacks.

  • Quarterback 1: I am going to crush you on the field today!
  • Quarterback 2: Lay on, Macduff! I am coming for you!

A conversation between two enemies fighting at school.

  • Enemy 1: I have had enough of you. You need to stop before I snap and do something I don’t want to do.
  • Enemy 2: Really? Lay on, Macduff! Let’s see what you got! My guess is you got nothing because you are just a coward.

Other Ways to Say “Lay On, Macduff”

Like most idiomatic phrases, there are many alternative ways to say the phrase and still manage to convey the same meaning. Other ways you can say the phrase “lay on, Macduff” include:

  • Bring it on
  • Take your best shot
  • Go ahead and try it

Lay On, Macduff Definition | Picture

Lay On MacduffPin