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You are watching: Time and tide wait for no man origin


The Tyde Taryeth No Man, john Payne Collier, 1576

I wonder if "The tyde taryeth no man" was simply another method of saying "time and also tide wait because that no man", an older definition of tarry being "delay or retard" (Online Etymology Dictionary). This gained me to wondering where this famous idiom come from. Spring on the Internet, you"d be forgiven for thinking it was Chaucer, and also you can also buy mugs v the quote attributed come Chaucer on them.
But in fact the very first known figure in exactly this type wasn"t until the late eighteenth century, back there had been many comparable expressions before.
Update - since an initial posting this I"ve amended that slightly and will probably be amending the again, as I find more.
This perform is an broadened version of one in the Dictionary the Proverbs by George Latimer Apperson. Over there are links at the end to the dictionary and the individual examples.
And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet

St. Marher, 1225

For thogh us slepe, or wake, or rome, or ryde,Ay fleeth the tyme; it nyl no guy abyde.Goeffrey Chaucer (.1343-1400), The Prologue come the Clerk"s Tale, 1368

But hast the lyghtly the yu were gone ye IournayeAnd preue her frendes yf she canFor wete thou fine the tyde abydeth no manAnd in the worlde eche lyuynge creatureFor Adams synne should dye that nature. Everyman (published by john Skot, 1521-1537?), about 1530

Tyme is a thing that no male may resyst; Tyme is trancytory and also irreuocable;Who sayeth the contrary, tyme passeth together hym lyst; Tyme need to be take away in season couenable; take tyme once tyme is, because that tyme is ay mutable;All thynge hath tyme who can for it prouyde:Byde because that tyme who will, for tyme will no man byde.John Skelton (c.1460-1529) - On Tyme, prior to 1529

yet time and also tide (that staies because that no man) forbids us to tires any an ext on this carrion, being much more than glutted through it alreadie.

Thomas Nashe (1567-c.1601), Have with you to Saffron Walden (pamphlet), 1596

Time is therefore absolute and soveraigne a Regent, together hee is all-commanding, yet not to be countermanded; whence we frequently say, Time and also tide stayeth because that no man"

Richard Braithwait (1588-1673), The English Gentleman, 1630

Time and tide will remain for no man

Nathan Bailey (?-1742) - Dictionarium Britannicum: Or, A much more Compleat global Etymological English dictionary Than any kind of Extant (Second edition) 1736 (listed together an currently proverb)

"Come, come, Master, let us get afloat", said among then in a rough outstanding whisper, "time and also tide wait because that no man."

Sir Walter Scot - The Fortunes that Nigel, 1822


The word tide (Old English - tid) originally just meant time, or a point in time, or a division of time, or a season. The current an interpretation of "rise and fall the the sea" didn"t appear till the mid fourteenth century (Online Etymology Dictionary)
But there"s clear a strong an allegory from sailing that the tide, in the modern-day sense that the word, doesn"t wait any much more than time does. If you wanted to "sail on the tide" girlfriend couldn"t hang around.
The word abide appears in a couple of the quotes. Back this now way "to put up with" (usually supplied in the negative), it initially meant "remain, wait, delay, remain behind," and was related to the verb bide "to stay, continue, live, remain,". This older definitions can be checked out in the singing "Abide v me" (Stay through me) and the Scottish expression "Bide awee" (Stay awhile, wait a minute), which shows up in sir Walter Scott"s Heart the Midlothian.

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As much as i know, words wete, together in "wete you well" (Everyman) means know.
Early printers frequently interchanged the letter U and V, and also in Skelton"s poem, ns presume:
irreuvocable = irrevocablecouvenable = convenableprouyde = provide