Slings And Arrows Meaning: What does this Helpful Idiomatic Phrase Mean?

The idiomatic phrase “slings and arrows” is used frequently in conversation and writing as a figure of speech. If you had the pleasure of coming across this phrase but were thoroughly confused trying to decipher its meaning, then you have come to the right place. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and information regarding its origin. You will also discover some example sentences and conversations where this phrase is used correctly to help you better understand its meaning through context. Finally, you will see some alternative words and phrases that you can use in place of this phrase to relay the same meaning.

Slings And Arrows

Slings And Arrows Meaning

The idiom “slings and arrows” means judgments that are passed against you by someone or criticisms that you have to endure. It can also mean bad things that happen to someone that they did not make happen or ask for.

Origin of this idiomatic phrase

The idiomatic phrase “slings and arrows” is an older idiom. It dates back to the time of Shakespeare who was the first one to use it in his famous play Hamletwhich was written in 1599. In the play, the title character Hamlet delivers a speech in which he says “Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, …” However, the term did not become widely used until 1963.

“Slings And Arrows” Examples

Example Sentences

  • One must endure the slings and arrows of life because they are unavoidable.
  • People can hurl their slings and arrows all they want; a strong person will endure.
  • We’ve all suffered the slings and arrows of day-to-day living.
  • She had suffered her own share of slings and arrows in the quest for publicity.
  • Sufficient working capital must be available to meet the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune!

Example Conversations

A conversation between mother and daughter.

  • Daughter: I don’t know if I can take it anymore!
  • Mother: What do you mean?
  • Daughter: This boy in my class keeps criticizing me for every little thing I do!
  • Mother: You cannot let his slings and arrows get to you. Let him do his thing and just keep being you. What he says doesn’t matter.

A discussion between two co-workers.

  • Co-worker 1: I am getting a bit tired of listening to the boss’s slings and arrows.
  • Co-worker 2: It’s his job though. His slings and arrows should be considered and you should use them to change the way you do things and make your performance on the job better.
  • Co-worker 1: That is easy for you to say. You aren’t the one having to constantly listen to him all the time.

Alternatives to “Slings And Arrows”

There are several alternative words and phrases that you can use in place of the idiom “slings and arrows.” Some of the words or phrases you could use instead include:

  • Judgments and criticisms
  • Adversity and troubles
  • Run of bad luck

What does “Slings And Arrows” Mean? | Image

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Last Updated on March 19, 2020

1 thought on “Slings And Arrows Meaning: What does this Helpful Idiomatic Phrase Mean?”

  1. I’m amazed to find that OLD idioms like “slings and arrows” very often come to whatever is left of my mind as I seek ‘just the right words’ to lend power to a thrust / thesis that I’m building in writing to fellow philosophers.

    Some such idioms are 300 to 2000+ years old !!! Does that tell us that our human family’s only really meaningful search for wisdom ended about 300 years ago ???

    Does that also tell us that “treating every living being in ways that we wish to be treated” can serve as a very potent urging and beginning as we give newly high octane to a new try at finding a compelling justification for our existence ???


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