“May You Live in Interesting Times” Meaning | What Does This Idiom Mean?

Have you ever listened to a conversation where the term ‘may you live in interesting times’ has been said but was not sure what it meant? Let’s take a look at the meaning of this term and where it first came from. We are also going to look at how we can use the saying in our day to day conversations.

May You Live in Interesting Times

“May You Live in Interesting Times” Meaning

The term ‘may you live in interesting times’ may sound like a polite phrase but it is actually quite the opposite. The term is used to wish someone chaos and disruption in their life.

Origin of the phrase

The phrase ‘may you live in interesting times’ is believed to have its origins in an ancient Chinese curse. The idiom was also used in a speech made by Robert F Kennedy in the 1960s.

“May You Live in Interesting Times” Examples

Examples in Statements

This is a statement made by a jilted lover.

  • ‘You have hurt me deeply, may you live in interesting times.’

Here is a statement being made by a grandmother to her grandchildren.

  • ‘When I told the man what I thought of him, I also added may you live in interesting times.’

Conversation Examples

If you are curious to see how the term ‘may you live in interesting times’ could fit into a conversation, here are some examples to demonstrate that.

The first is a conversation between a jeweller and a customer.

  • Person 1: “Madam, I cannot refund your watch because the warranty has expired.”
  • Person 2: “I think you are just being difficult.”
  • Person 1:” I am just following the rules, I’m sorry you don’t agree.”
  • Person 2: “What an awful man you are, may you live in interesting times.”

This conversation is happening between a husband and wife.

  • Person 1: “I cannot believe that you had an affair. What were you thinking?”
  • Person 2: “I don’t regret it for a second. I will be pleased to be rid of you.”
  • Person 1: “You are an evil woman, may you live in interesting times.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

There are many others way in which you can express the meaning of the term ‘may you live in interesting times.’

Below are some examples of things you could say that mean the same thing.

  • May your life be filled with misery
  • I hope you face danger

May You Live in Interesting Times | Image

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