The phrase "rue the day" means to bitterly regret a particular action or decision. It originates from the word "rue," which means to regret something bitterly. The phrase is often used as a warning or prediction of regret.
- "Rue the day" means to deeply regret a particular event or decision in the past.
The phrase "rue the day" means to regret something deeply. When someone says they'll "rue the day," they're expressing a strong feeling of regret about a particular event or decision. It's a way of saying that they'll always regret that moment.
While the core meaning revolves around regret, the intensity and context can vary depending on how the word is used.
The phrase “rue the day” has its roots in the Old English word “hreowan,” which as a verb means to “make (someone) sorry, cause (someone) to grieve, distress, affect with regret.” As a noun, it refers to feelings of sorrow or regret. The term “rue” was a commonly used word in Middle English in the titular sense by the 13th century. Although many attribute the phrase to William Shakespeare, he never used that specific phrase. He used the phrases, “Rue the tears,” “Rue the time” and “Rue the hour” in his writings, but never specifically "rue the day.
Here are some examples to help you understand how "rue the day" can be used in different contexts:
The phrase "rue the day" has been referenced in various forms of media and art over the years.
Here are some notable mentions:
While "rue the day" is a unique idiom, there are other phrases and words that can convey a similar sentiment of regret.
Here are some alternatives:
It's an idiom that means to deeply regret a particular event or decision in the past.
The origin can be traced back to Old English, with the word "rue" meaning to feel sorrow or regret.
While it may be considered archaic in some contexts, it's still used, especially in literature, drama, and certain expressions with a prophetic or humorous undertone.
Yes, sometimes it's used with a slight undertone of humor, especially when the regret isn't too severe.
Yes, idioms like "kick oneself," "cry over spilled milk," and "have second thoughts" convey similar sentiments of regret.
For example: "If you don't keep up the good work, you might rue the day you procrastinated."
While "rue" primarily appears in the idiom "rue the day," it can occasionally be found in older literature in phrases like "rue the hour" or "rue the moment."
The specific choice of "day" emphasizes the lasting and significant regret over a particular event or decision.
It's used in both British and American English, but its usage might vary based on context and regional preferences.
Typically, "rue the day" has a negative connotation associated with regret. It's not commonly used in a positive context.
The idiom "rue the day" signifies the deep and sorrowful regret that one may have. Over the centuries, it has evolved and found its place in literature, drama, and everyday conversations. While its usage might have waned recently, it remains a powerful expression of regret.