Eaten Out Of House and Home
Posted by Elyse Bruce on May 4, 2010
Old Mother Hubbard was eaten out of house and home by her many children. The three bears were eaten out of house and home thanks to Goldilocks and her voracious appetite. So who exactly is responsible for this phrase?
The Rise of Historical Criticism, written and published in complete form in 1908 by late-Victorian playwright and celebrity Oscar Wilde used the phrase. Charles Darwin used the phrase in his book On The Original of the Species published in 1859.
The earliest published version of the phrase can be found in Shakespeare’s Henry IV (Part II) written in 1597 where Mistress Quickly says:
“It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all, all I have. He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his: but I will have some of it out again, or I will ride thee o’ nights like the mare.”