A lb of meat Meaning

Definition: Payment the is owed, which may be built up in a devilish or vengeful way.

You are watching: What does a pound of flesh mean

Origin that A lb of Flesh

This expression originates from one of the functions of the English playwright wilhelm Shakespeare. It shows up in his beat Merchant the Venice, indigenous the year 1596.

In this play, a moneylender has a contract with seller that requirements the vendor give that a lb of his flesh, or body, in payment. Obviously, because that the vendor to salary with part of his human body would damage him greatly, although it is in your contract.

The continued insistence the he pay of his own flesh is the central plot machine in the play.

Examples that A pound of Flesh

Here is an instance in which two roommates are pointing out a problem one of them is having at work.

Mario: Hey, Axel, I require your advice.

Axel: Sure. Those going on?

Mario: Well, you remember the my job available to pay for my institution if I worked for them until I payment it off, right?

Axel: Yeah. Why?

Mario: So ns just got this amazing task offer from an additional law firm! it’s way better than my current job.

Axel: Congratulations!

Mario: Thanks, but, unfortunately, it seems favor I can’t accept it. Ns didn’t realize it in ~ the time, but my contract v my present job forbids me indigenous accepting one more job till my current contract is complete.

Axel: What wake up if you break the contract?

Mario: Then ns owe my present job the full amount that my college expenses.

Axel: does that include the amount you already worked to salary off?

Mario: i would have to pay also for the amount I already worked off.

Axel: it is terrible!

Mario: i know. Ns mean, ns realize the agency has to have actually its lb of flesh, however I still expected much more from them. They room so ruthless!

More Examples

This excerpt is about a widow whose husband died, however is quiet responsible because that his auto lease.

The 2nd excerpt is about tax revolutionary in California.

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The idiom a lb of flesh describes something that one human must salary to another due to a contract or various other legal agreement. Nonetheless, this payment is harsh or abominable come ask for.


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