Pound of Flesh

Pound of Flesh: Definition of the Phrase “Pound of Flesh” with Helpful Examples

Have you ever heard someone use the term Pound of flesh and wondered what they were referring to? We are going to take a look at the meaning of this phrase as well as finding out where it first came from. We will also look at some examples of the term in use so that we can better understand how it fits into the conversation.

Pound of Flesh

Pound of Flesh Meaning

When someone uses the term Pound of flesh they are referring to something which has been borrowed and must be returned at any cost. The words pound of flesh are insinuating that an unpaid debt might end up with a vengeful finish.

Origin of this idiom

The phrase Pound of flesh was first coined by William Shakespeare who used it in the play The Merchant of Venice. Since then, it has become a popular English idiom.

Other Ways to Say the Idiom

There are other terms that you can use which express the same meaning as the English idiom Pound of flesh.

Let’s take a look at some examples of these.

  • Alternative repayment
  • Unpaid debt
  • Debt

“Pound of Flesh” Examples

There are various sentences which might feature the phrase Pound of flesh, here are some examples to demonstrate how it might look.

Examples in Statements

The first statement is being made by a friend to another friend.

  • You must return that money to David or else offer a pound of flesh.

This next statement is being made in a news article.

  • The lender does not take kindly to unpaid debts, threatening a pound of flesh for this situation.

More useful examples:

  • The British government is demanding a pound of flesh in return.
  • According to the contract, you can get a pound of flesh, now you can do it!
  • What you wanted was only a pound of flesh. That is all you can take now.
  • I see. According to the law, Shylock may have a pound of flesh.
  • Never in my life have I seen social security payments abound unless they were for a pound of flesh.

Conversation Examples

If you are wondering how the term Pound of flesh might look in a conversation, here are some examples of what you might hear.

The first is a conversation which is taking place between a father and son.

  • Person 1: “Why did you borrow from Ian? You know how he is if things are not returned.”
  • Person 2: “I had no other choice but I’ll offer a pound of flesh and pay it back.”

The next conversation is happening between a loan shark and his client.

  • Person 1: “I insist you repay by Friday.”
  • Person 2: “I don’t know if I can.”
  • Person 1: “It’ll be a pound of flesh or the money, the choice is yours.”

What Does “Pound of Flesh” Mean? | Image

Pound of Flesh

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