My Cup Runneth Over: Definition, Meaning And Origin

Last Updated on
June 14, 2023

The idiom "my cup runneth over" originates from the Bible and signifies a condition of abundance or plentiful blessings. In simple terms, it reflects the state of having more than enough.

In short:

"My cup runneth over" means to have more than enough, or to be abundantly blessed.

What Does "My Cup Runneth Over" Mean?

"My cup runneth over" is an idiomatic expression that conveys a sense of abundant blessings or good fortune. The phrase implies that the individual's life is so filled with good things that they metaphorically overflow, much like a cup filled beyond its capacity.

Let's delve into its main interpretations:

  • It signifies a state of abundance, prosperity, or flourishing in some aspect of one's life.
  • It often refers to spiritual or emotional blessings rather than material things.
  • It conveys a sense of gratitude, fulfillment, and richness beyond one's needs or expectations.

Where Does "My Cup Runneth Over" Come From?

The origin of the idiom can be traced back to the Bible, specifically to the 23rd Psalm. In this psalm, the speaker talks about how their cup overflows with goodness and mercy, thanks to their faith in God. The phrase has since become a common expression in English and is often used to describe a wide range of situations.

Historical Example

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."

- Psalm 23:5-6 KJV

10 Examples of "My Cup Runneth Over" in Sentences

Here are some examples of the idiom in use:

  • I've been promoted at work, and my wife is expecting our first child - truly, my cup runneth over.
  • The beauty of the sunset was a sight to behold, making me feel like my cup runneth over with joy.
  • My child's cheerful demeanor is my happy pill; every interaction makes me feel like my cup runneth over.
  • With the birth of our twins, my cup runneth over with joy and gratitude.
  • As we reap the benefits of our hard work, we certainly feel like our cup runneth over.
  • The kindness of strangers during difficult times made me realize that my cup runneth over with blessings.
  • Experiencing the natural beauty of the world during my travels, I couldn't help but feel that my cup runneth over.
  • Good going on the project completion; your success makes my cup runneth over with pride.
  • The immense support I've received for my small business makes me feel like my cup runneth over.
  • Despite the trials and tribulations, we've been through, we've managed to find joy. I can truly say that my cup runneth over.

Examples of "My Cup Runneth Over" in Pop Culture

While not as commonly seen in pop culture, "my cup runneth over" has made appearances in music, literature, and film.

Let's explore some instances:

  • A quote from the 2014 book "Lies We Tell Ourselves" by Robin Talley: "My cup runneth over. Ruth's arm jerks away from me."
  • In the movie "Summer of the Monkeys" (1998), Sarah Lee reads the Bible: "Thou preparest the table before me in the presence of my enemies. Thou anoinist my head with oil my cup runneth over."
  • In the comedy movie "Hail the Conquering Hero" (1944), Woodrow Lafayette tells Major Everett, "It says in the Bible, "my cup runneth over." Well, my cup runneth over... with gall."

Other/Different Ways to Say "My Cup Runneth Over"

While there aren't many synonyms that capture the exact essence of "my cup runneth over," a few similar phrases might convey the sense of overflowing blessings or abundance.

Here are some of them:

  • Blessed beyond measure
  • Filled with gratitude
  • Overflowing with blessings
  • Immensely fortunate
  • Abundance of blessings
  • Embarrassment of riches
  • Life is sweet
  • Flourishing
  • An excess of good fortune
  • A wealth of opportunities
  • In a state of grace

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "My Cup Runneth Over":

  • What does "my cup runneth over" mean?

"My cup runneth over" is a phrase indicating an overflowing abundance of blessings or good fortune.

  • How can I use "my cup runneth over" in a sentence?

You could use "my cup runneth over" when expressing feelings of immense gratitude or abundance, such as "With the love and support I've received, my cup runneth over."

  • Where does the idiom "my cup runneth over" come from?

The idiom originated from the 23rd Psalm of the Bible, often attributed to King David, symbolizing an abundance of blessings.

  • Is "my cup runneth over" a religious phrase?

While it has biblical origins, the phrase "my cup runneth over" is used in both religious and secular contexts today to express abundance or gratitude.

  • Can "my cup runneth over" be used to denote material wealth?

Yes, although it generally refers to an abundance of blessings, it can also symbolize material wealth or prosperity.

  • Can "my cup runneth over" refer to negative abundance?

Typically, no. "My cup runneth over" is usually used to signify positive abundance such as blessings or good fortune.

  • How often is "my cup runneth over" used in everyday conversation?

The phrase isn't very common in casual conversation, but it's often used in speeches, writings, and other formal contexts to express gratitude or abundance.

  • Can "my cup runneth over" be used ironically?

Like any phrase, it can be used ironically, but this isn't a common usage. It's typically used sincerely to express gratitude or abundance.

  • Can I use "my cup runneth over" in professional settings?

Yes, "my cup runneth over" can be used in professional settings, especially when expressing gratitude or acknowledging a wealth of opportunities or successes.

  • Does "my cup runneth over" hold the same meaning across different cultures?

While the expression is English, the concept of feeling blessed or experiencing an abundance of good fortune is universal and recognized across different cultures and languages.

Final Thoughts About "My Cup Runneth Over"

The idiom means that one has more than enough of something and that their life is filled to the brim with blessings and good fortune. Although rooted in religious text, it is widely used today in both religious and secular contexts to denote abundance or prosperity.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The phrase signifies an overflowing abundance of blessings or good fortune.
  • It encourages a sense of gratitude and positive acknowledgment of one's situation.
  • It's a phrase with a broad scope, signifying sincere gratitude or affirming wealth or victory.

The phrase inspires a sense of contentment and joy. When our cup runneth over, we have more than we need or dare ask for.

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