If you have ever heard someone use the term ‘nasty, brutish and short’ during a conversation, you may well have asked yourself what the saying means. We are going to look into the meaning of this term and a little bit about where it first came from. We will also look at how the phrase can be used during a conversation.
Nasty, Brutish and Short
Nasty, Brutish and Short Meaning
The meaning of the term ‘nasty, brutish and short’ refers to how life is experienced when at war. It can also be used to refer to a situation which is horrible.
Origin of this idiom
The idiomatic term ‘nasty brutish and short’ originates from a text written by Thomas Hobbes in the 1650s.
“Nasty, Brutish and Short” Examples
Examples in Statements
This is a statement which is being made by a new reporter.
- ‘The country is in strife, life truly is nasty, brutish and short.’
Here is a statement which is made by a teacher to her class.
- ‘The war veterans insisted that they felt things were nasty, brutish and short when they were fighting in the war.’
If you are curious to know how the term ‘nasty, brutish and short’ can work in a day to day conversation, here are some examples of what you might hear.
The first is a conversation taking place between two friends.
- Person 1: “How was your military tour?”
- Person 2: “Absolutely horrible, you cannot begin to imagine some of the things I have seen.”
- Person 1: “Life really is nasty, brutish and short isn’t it.”
Here is a conversation between a father and son. The term, in this case, is used to show sarcasm.
- Person 1: “Dad, can I have a new car?”
- Person 2: “If you buy it yourself.”
- Person 1: “But all my friends parents have brought them cars. It isn’t fair.”
- Person 2: “Your life must be so nasty, brutish and short.”
Other Ways to Say the Phrase
There are other ways in which you can express the meaning of the term ‘nasty, brutish and short’ using different wording. Here are some examples of other things you might say.
- Hard life
- An awful situation
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