The Expression “Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop”

Howdy, y’all! Bardfilm here!

Ever since I hacked into Shakespeare Geek’s blog, I’ve been waiting for him to get within shouting distance of a computer and shut me out. In fact, he tweeted something that made me suspect he was on to me. The expression for the state I’m in is “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

You may not know that the expression comes from Shakespeare’s day. You see, Thomas Dekker wrote a hilarious comedy called The Shoemaker’s Holiday. It was so popular that audiences were crying out for a sequel. And the Elizabethan theatre was all about the sequel—I mean, three parts to Henry VI?

Everyone thought a sequel was coming, and it was rumored that Shakespeare was going to collaborate on the piece. They were so excited, they felt like they were on pins and needles, only that expression hadn’t been invented yet. So they started saying “We’re waiting for the other Shoemaker’s Holiday to drop.”

Of course, that expression was awkward, so it was shortened to “We’re waiting for the other Shoemaker to drop.” And then it was shortened still further to “We’re waiting for the other Shoe to drop,” giving us the expression we all know and love.

So I’ll keep this up until that shoe drops.

In the meantime, “Let not the creaking of shoes nor the rustling of silks betray thy poor heart to Shakespeare Geek!”

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